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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City again prevails in court over Sisleys

11/16/2012  2:30:00 PM
Kimberly Mills  (206) 684-8602

The City has won a five-day jury trial in King County Superior Court that centered on negligence and breach of contract claims brought by Martha and Hugh Sisley, notorious violators of Seattle’s housing and zoning codes.

In rendering its verdict on Nov. 9, the jury found that the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) did not act negligently when it did not issue Certificates of Compliance to the Sisleys because the couple had failed to demonstrate that they brought two rental properties in the Roosevelt neighborhood into compliance with Notices of Violation that identified multiple code violations. The properties are at 6515 16th Ave. NE and 6317 15th Ave. NE. The City presented evidence at trial that the Sisleys had not obtained permits to correct the violation.

The jury deliberated less than three hours before reaching its unanimous verdict.

Jurors also considered whether Seattle City Light committed a breach of contract by transferring past-due power account balances totaling $23,118.45 owed on the Sisleys’ rental properties to the Sisleys’ home account. The City maintained that because the transferred power charges were reversed by a Seattle City Light hearing officer, the contract to provide and pay for power was not breached. The jury agreed, finding that City Light had not breached the contract.

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