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New owners want tenant out

By Staff | Jan 10, 2009

Blue Earth police officers were on hand at the Amundson buildings in downtown Blue Earth on Wednesday afternoon.

An out-of-state non-profit organization has run into a legal roadblock in its efforts to purchase and renovate some property in Blue Earth.

Hot Springs Citizens for Progress of South Dakota thought they had a deal when they received deeds for the property owned by Paul Amundson.

Now, ownership of buildings at the corner of Seventh and Main Street will likely have to be decided by the courts.

On Thursday, Robert Johnson of the South Dakota group was in Faribault County District Court seeking to have Amundson evicted from the property.

The group has hired attorneys Joe Bromeland of Blue Earth and Mary O’Brien of Minneapolis to plead its case before Judge Douglas Richards.

Amundson is being represented by Blue Earth attorney Daniel Lundquist.

A day before the hearing, Blue Earth police were on hand as Johnson was allowed to walk through and examine the buildings for insurance purposes.

Evelyn Amundson, Paul’s mother, greeted Johnson and law enforcement before they went inside the buildings.

“We paid $30,000 so Paul could stay in the building. He has a business. We have upheld our end of the deal and they haven’t followed through and done what they were suppose to,” she says. “They’ve caused us a lot of pain to our family.”

Amundson has obtained a temporary restraining order to keep Citizens for Progress out of the buildings until the courts rule on the matter.

At the court hearing, Richards denied Amund-son’s request to continue the restraining order.

The judge informed both sides that a receiver for the property would be appointed. He requested the attorneys reach an agreement on the scope of the receiver’s responsibilities.

Former Faribault County Sheriff Scott Campbell was named to oversee the property.

“He (Campbell) will protect the property. To make sure nothing is damaged,” says O’Brien. “He also will have keys to the buildings and access at any time.” Citizens for Progress will have complete access to all three buildings. Amundson is being allowed to remain on the premises and also to keep his personal belongings in the buildings.

Attorneys will be submitting written briefs regarding the eviction case and oral arguments will be heard. The judge will rule whether ownership of the property needs to be determined before eviction could occur.

According to court documents, Amundson claims the Hot Springs group allowed him to occupy the buildings indefinitely. He also contends they are responsible for insurance, indebtedness, caretaking and utilities for the buildings.

In his suit, Amundson says the non-profit organization obtained the deeds through fraud and misrepresentation, and broke the terms of their agreement.