Judge grants city permission to lock out owner, occupants of townhome

A Riverside County Superior Court judge has granted the city’s request to evict the owner and occupants of a townhome off Ramon Road labeled a drug house in court documents.

An attorney representing Palm Springs said Wednesday all but one occupant of the property, located at 470 Village Square East, has been served with a notice to vacate. He added that the city hopes to execute a lockout by Friday.

The city asked for permission to evict the occupants and secure the residence while awaiting the outcome of legal cases involving the owner, a 70-year-old Palm Springs woman.

According to court documents, neighbors who live in the complex where the townhome is located have been voicing concerns about alleged drug activity at the unit since December 2019. In February, Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force members served a search warrant at the townhome, seizing contraband including Xanax, heroin, and scales. In April, task force members returned to the home and found eight people inside believed to be using methamphetamine and heroin. Documents state the homeowner acknowledged she had allowed drug use on her property. She also admitted to smoking methamphetamine with her guests.

In June, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against the owner, alleging she was maintaining a drug house. She was subsequently arrested and faces arraignment in November.

Despite her arrest, court documents state neighbors of the property continued to report what they believe is illegal activity at the property, forcing the city to step in and ask for abatement of the home. Abatement permits law enforcement agencies to close any piece of property involved in alleged illegal activities. On September 30, Judge Randall White granted the city permission to temporarily remove the occupants and lock the home’s doors pending the outcome of the abatement case.

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