Our Thoughts Turn to Cleveland, Leadenly

By July 1, 2008Briefly Legal

City of Cleveland, Mayor’s Office, news release, Jan. 11, 2008, excerpt:

CLEVELAND – Today, Mayor Frank Jackson confronted the foreclosure crisis at its very core; along with his Law Director Robert Triozzi, he announced that the City of Cleveland is seeking damages from some 21 Wall Street companies who financed and cultivated the sub-prime market. The defendants violated the Ohio public nuisance law which is what the City of Cleveland will use to seek damages.

“Cities can rebound, however it is extremely costly to do so given that declining tax revenues are part of the fallout of foreclosures,” said Mayor Jackson.

Public nuisance is a longstanding, well-established legal concept. It allows recovery for circumstances created by the defendant that interfere with the public’s “rights and interests”. The unscrupulous lending practices that are part of the sub-prime market have devastated Cleveland neighborhoods which clearly demonstrate a public nuisance.

Not so well-established after today’s Rhode Island ruling, we’d say.

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