State Board issued me a civil summons

8 Replies

Long story short, I bought my first multi family, a duplex, and was in the middle of rehabbing it when everything went to hell.

I was having major electrical work being done, had a licensed electrician and pulled a permit.

Inspector comes in, see's that there is new plumbing and notices my handyman, who is not a licensed plumber, is installing a toilet and some other minor plumbing stuff and shuts us down.

Fast forward a few weeks, I meet with the state plumbing inspector and he explains the rules about who can do what with regards to plumbing. He then tells me that they are not going to come after me, and shows me a letter he typed up that basically says he has explained everything to me and that I agree to not do it again and has me sign it.

A month later, I get a civil summons from the state plumbers board suing me for doing the plumbing without a license, and they are basically looking to "tax" me for up to 15k.

I sent all the papers to my real estate lawyer and will be meeting with him on monday to see what he says.

My question is, has anyone else on here ever been sued civilly for something like this by the state board (plumbing or otherwise)?

What happened?

Hoping to hear some not horribly bad news on monday....

No experience with it, but this is way over the top in my opinion. It's not like it takes any special training or knowledge to set a friggin toilet. And it's not like it's a safety issue either.

Here in Anne arundel county Md , you need to pull a permit to change the wax ring on a toilet ..

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :
Here in Anne arundel county Md , you need to pull a permit to change the wax ring on a toilet ..

And all these states / counties wonder why guys arent pulling permits because its nothing more then a cash grab in a lot of instances.

I will be sure to NOT pull a permit on the next one.

But my point isnt whether or not I'm guilty, so much as, has anyone else been through this before?

The state is NC



I worked for an electrical company years ago, I know of one time where the company didn't pull a permit on an "undercover reno" for an apt in a building in one of NJ's big cities. The brother of the evicted tenant called the city about the work going on in there. I know my boss was called down town to meet with the Building Dept. He had to put on a dress shirt, so I guess he was worried :) Anyway, he said that they gave him a very stern warning. It helped that the building was owned by two city detectives...Those detectives ended up screwing him & a lot of others out of a lot of money as I found out years later.

I would hope they are just looking to rattle you, maybe "tax" you a few hundred and not the up to $15K threat.

Most times when dealing with a new inspector or city official, I've found you humble yourself, grovel, stroke their ego and they treat you well, even become friendly & helpful. If you try to put yourself at their level or higher, they'll be hell on wheels.

Hope everything works out for you.

thanks for all the reply's,

my real estate lawyer said that he doesnt handle trial work and referred me to someone...he also said that the summons was very confusing and he didnt understand it, and that it seemed like we had signed an "acknowledgment out" letter.

Which usually means you are getting your hand slapped, you wont do it again, and that is that.

Even the state plumbing inspector told us when we signed the letter that it meant the state wouldnt come after us...but that we had better not let it happen again or things could get ugly...that sort of thing.

So monday or tues I'm going to meet with the trial lawyer and I'll come back on here and update.

alrighty, good news!

my lawyer called their lawyer and explained how we had already signed the paperwork on this issue and that it should have been a done deal, and the other lawyer agreed and said that we just needed to do some paperwork and that they would drop it.

so 300 bucks to my lawyer and it is all done.

just thought I'd post this as FYI for anyone else who may find themselves in this mess

That is a common disposition, sending the message is what they really want, the inspector types or with many compliance issues. Attorneys may like to say they got you off, but what they want to do more than anything is send the message, getting in your pocket paying an attorney does that. Had you gone to court without counsel the outcome could have been different, either way the message is sent.

I have to agree, setting a toilet is pretty petty. :)

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