DeKalb County Magistrate Court has created a “Magistrate Court Ordinance Division” which will target abandoned, dilapidated and burned-out properties with penalties that could include demolition of the structure. Three DeKalb County judges will hold monthly hearings to review cases where violators have received multiple code citations, but have not made improvements. These judges now have the authority to force the property owners to make repairs or
What makes this process different from most “blight” related initiatives, according to DeKalb Chief Magistrate Judge Berryl Anderson, is that “In the past, there was not much that could be done unless the properties’ owners could be found. This initiative allows the county to move forward with taking down these properties regardless of whether the owners respond to court orders.” The judges now have the authority to force the property owners to make repairs or could face demolition.
The Atlanta REALTORS Association's Government Affairs Division will work with other REALTOR associations to learn more about this program and assure private property rights are not infringed upon.