Emsworth woman sues borough, family members over eviction keeping her from husband's ashes

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An Emsworth woman today sued her son, her daughter-in-law, the borough and its fire chief, claiming that they conspired to illegally evict her from her home of 50 years.

Camilla Evans, 86, and her daughter, Camilla Conners, wrote in the complaint that Ms. Evans rented a house on Neville Street for 50 years.

Ms. Evans' son, David, and his wife, Judith, bought the house and four years later stopped charging his mother rent, according to the complaint. Ms. Evans kept the house maintained and paid utilities and her daughter moved in with her, according to the lawsuit.

A family dispute over another relative's estate soured relations between mother and son, according to the complaint. Eventually Mr. Evans called in Emsworth Volunteer Fire Company Chief Michael Adams and had the house condemned, then posted an eviction notice without actually filing to evict, according to the complaint.

John G. Arch, an attorney representing David and Judith Evans, said the house was condemned based on an electrician's indication that it was unsafe.

“The place was unsafe for those ladies to be living in," he said. "We weren’t trying to be mean and nasty. We wanted them to be safe.”

He said the eviction notification was a legally required initial step toward a formal eviction. And he added that David Evans has made several attempts to accommodate movers hired to remove his mother's belongings.

After her eviction, Ms. Evans moved to a hotel, then later bought another house in Emsworth. She hasn't been allowed to remove her belongings, including her husband's ashes, from the Neville Street house, according to the complaint.

Attorney Gianni Floro, who filed the complaint, declined comment. The complaint in U.S. District Court alleged that Emsworth didn't properly train and supervise Mr. Adams, which contributed to the actions that deprived Ms. Evans of her rights to privacy and to be free of unlawful seizure of property.

Emsworth solicitor Robert McTiernan had no immediate comment. Mr. Adams could not be immediately reached.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord. First Published October 25, 2013 1:43 PM

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