Your Honor, I waive my right to a jury trial.
Your Honor, I wish to point out that it has never been my intention to cause any intentional delay, or conduct frivolous legal activity in order to irritate or damage the plaintiff. I have a number of entirely valid counterclaims to make against the plaintiff. I would have made these counterclaims at the last unlawful detainer action a month ago, but you dismissed the plaintiff's claim before I could introduce my complaints. I will prove that significant damage has been done to me through the illegal actions and inactions of the plaintiffs, and I will further prove that the plaintiff's claim for unlawful detainer is invalid, and that the plaintiff is attempting to use this court as a tool or means to further his illegal activities.
Your Honor, I am filing a number of counterclaims. The first is based on Minnesota Statute 566.34 Subdivision 9, Consolidation with unlawful detainer.
(Actions under this section and actions in unlawful detainer brought under sections 566.01 to 566.17 which involve the same parties must be consolidated and heard on the date scheduled for the unlawful detainer.)
This counterclaim is for rent abatement based on the landlord's refusal to maintain the property in a safe and sanitary condition, specifically refusing to repair a problem with the sewer for a two year period from May, 1998 to May, 2000. For the first 18 months, gases were coming from the sewer into the apartment, causing a terrible smell as well as posing a significant health risk. For the last 8 months during this period, a different sewer problem developed, a collapsed sewer pipe, causing the toilet to repeatedly overflow and raw sewage to back up into the shower.
The landlord failed to notify me, as he is required by Minnesota Statute 504.22, of the existence and availability of the "Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities" handbook. Therefore I was unaware of the legal remedies that were available to me, and the proper procedures for carrying them out.
I was aware that rent could be withheld when a landlord allowed unsafe or unsanitary conditions to exist, but not that the rent should be deposited with the court into an escrow account.
The deciding factor in my not proceeding further with my claim against the landlord at the time, by complaining to the public health department or other agencies, was the landlord's repeated fraudulent statements that the problem with the sewer lied with the city, and not with him. For all I knew, he was telling the truth.
Your Honor, I wish to have entered into evidence two signed affidavits from two customers for whom I performed computer repair or sales, attesting to the evil and powerful sewer smell that was present in the property during their visit.
I can produce a minimum of another 4 or 5 affidavits, but some of these would be from people who live out of State, and some I cannot immediately track down. Someone I sold a computer to lives in Burr Oak, Iowa, but her brother was the one who was in the back of the house where the smell was the worst, and he lives in Indiana, and would take time to locate, and in addition she who bought the computer had a kidney transplant, and it would be a burden for her to appear in court. Another lives in Decorah, but I need additional time to locate her name and address. Two others live in Harmony, but again, I would need time to obtain their address.
Sheriff Ron Connelly and an agent from the Waterloo, Iowa FBI office came inside the property to interview me regarding an anti-crime technology I invented, and the web page I maintain on the internet regarding this technology, approximately two years ago. I asked the Sheriff about a month ago, shortly before the last unlawful detainer action, if he could recall my apologizing about the nasty sewer smell, and pointing out that the landlord refused to repair it, but he could not recall my having said this. However, the FBI agent taped the conversation, and given a short time the tape could be subpoenaed and produced as evidence.
Your Honor, in order to obtain officially witnessed affidavits or taped depositions, the court might have to grant Forma Pauperis, because my financial resources are extremely limited. However, if these are obtained, it would prove my case beyond all possible doubt, not just beyond a reasonable doubt. If Forma Pauperis is necessary to proving my claim, I request that it be asserted.
Your Honor, you might say that I could have moved out, thereby ending the sewer irritation, but with my limited financial resources I would have had to have left 2 or 3 thousand dollars worth of my possessions behind, because I could not afford to move them. The law says that I do not have to pay for criminal acts that another person commits.
These actions and inactions on the part of the landlord did not just reduce my capability to enjoy the premises, they eliminated any possible enjoyment I could get out of the premises. How much would I have to pay you to have your house smell like a sewer for one month, let alone almost two years? I couldn't pay you enough money. The lack of enjoyment has extended far beyond the enjoyment of the premises. After being forced to live in conditions like that because I could not afford to move, it is difficult to find enjoyment in almost anything anymore. I get SSI disability for silver poisoning and clinical depression associated with silver poisoning, so I was already predisposed to this condition.
Further, it can be shown to be fact that the problem with the sewer, beyond my being predisposed to depression, was in and of itself a direct determinant in my capability to gain the financial resources I needed to move out. Because of silver poisoning, I cannot hold down normal employment, but in the past, before the sewer 'incident', I at least was motivated enough to conduct a very small business buying and selling computers and computer parts over the internet, and locally.
The sewer smell had a powerful and direct negative impact on my peace of and frame of mind, having the effect of greatly reducing any ambition or motivation I might have otherwise had. If your house smells like a sewer, you don't wake up in the morning prepared to go out and conquer the world. More likely, you go back to sleep and hope and wish things are different when you wake up. There is clinical research that proves this effect.
Rats are used in much scientific research; therefore it is valuable to learn through experimentation the psychology of rats. Experiments were done on rats, forcing them to live in unclean conditions, including their own waste. Normally, rats are very clean and fastidious animals, but the rats in the experiments quit cleaning themselves. They went out foraging for food only a tenth as often as normal, and quit building nests and beds. Rats always fight over females, food, and territory, but the fights these rats would get into would be vicious, to the death matters. When the rats were returned back to normal living conditions, half never recovered.
Not all aromatherapy is a good and productive thing. The effects of aromatherapy are proven, including significantly speeding recovery times after surgery. It is obvious the if positive scents have a positive and productive effect, then disgusting smells will have an opposite effect.
Your Honor, I am seeking a total rent abatement for the period beginning May, 1998, and ending May, 2000, plus whatever punitive damages you feel compelled to impose.
Before introducing my additional counterclaims, I wish to affirm that this counterclaim is filed properly under Minnesota Statute 566.34 Subdivision 9, Consolidation with unlawful detainer. (Wait for conformation)
Thank you, Your Honor. I wanted to make this counterclaim first so that the plaintiff's claim would not be dismissed as a result of my other counterclaims, as was the case last month. If this case were dismissed on the basis of these further claims, it would allow the plaintiff to escape the legal consequences for his violations and his lack of respect for the law.
After such time as the first counterclaim has been heard in its entirety, I file additional counterclaims for retaliation or discrimination, and for failing to meet Federal regulations and Statutes.
Your Honor, If the case has not been settled to my satisfaction after these claims have been heard in their entirety, I file an additional counterclaim for harassment and assault.
I can prove beyond reasonable doubt a continued pattern of harassment and assault that dates back to 1982, by enemies I appear to have made in the Twin Cities, evidenced by facts that show that no matter where in the United States I have moved, some agency or firm from the Twin Cities has followed me and set up a nearby presence. If necessary, I can produce approximately 32 pages of text that would show that this proof exists, which can be read in the span of two or three hour's time. Your Honor, I realize that your time and the court's time, and the taxpayer's money are extremely valuable, to be conserved rather than wasted, but I am correct in this.
I can produce 4 pages of text that prove that I invented a railroad safety invention in 1984, and prove that it has increased the Federal government's tax income a quarter of a billion dollars in the 13 years it has been in use, and a like amount divided between the 50 States. In addition, it has saved the taxpayers an additional 130 million dollars to date, because it cuts the cost of insurance for AMTRAK at least in half, which is a savings of ten million dollars a year. Fact shows that this invention reduces the US trade deficit (for example, to Lloyd's of London for insurance) by 10 million dollars a year, which increases the gross national product by 100 million dollars a year. With Minnesota's tax intake on this increase in economic activity, 400,000 dollars per year for 13 years, (5.2 million dollars) this courthouse could be rebuilt, and completely staffed for a year. I believe this entitles me to some small amount of leeway and trust.
It would probably take me about three hours to prove my counterclaim of harassment and assault beyond a reasonable doubt. However, I suspect that this case should be easily settled to my satisfaction without needing to introduce this last counterclaim.
Your Honor, I am seeking damages in the amount of $6700 for rent abatement for the damages caused to me due to the landlord's fraudulent actions and inactions regarding the sewer and his failing to meet relevant law regarding health and safety, and failing to meet HUD regulations. I am further seeking punitive damages as the court deems appropriate. I am further seeking that the court, under order of contempt and risk of fines and penalties, order that the plaintiff comply with existing Federal law and statutes as they pertain to this case, specifically that he pay my reasonable moving expenses. I am further seeking that if the court finds for me and awards rent abatement and/or damages, that the court issue an injunction against eviction until three month's time after I receive the settlement in full.
I further pray the court sanction the plaintiff for being a slumlord in the following manner if the court so decides it is merited: That the plaintiff be given a choice between A) having his slumlord activities and HUD violations remanded by this court to HUD, the FBI, and the Federal District Court, or B) paying an additional out of court settlement equal to the difference between the settlement the court has awarded and $15,000 (or a greater or lesser amount as the court sees fit), and pay an additional out of court settlement of $15,000 (or a greater or lesser amount as the court sees fit) to Jean Mickelsen for the 250 tons of snow she had to shovel when she resided in the plaintiff's Section 8 housing, and in addition to bring his property up to HUD specifications in all respects, submitting to and paying for inspections of the property as the court sees fit to require.
Your Honor, as far as the claims of retaliation, discrimination, and failing to meet Federal regulations and Statutes are concerned, I will show that these are valid claims. Both the first and the second eviction notices claimed remodeling as the reason for the eviction, but no one else at the Canton Apartments was given an eviction notice. The first eviction notice was given within 90 days after I took steps to protect my rights as a tenant; specifically, raw sewage was backing up into the sewer, and I had a severe cut one of my feet, so I went to the lumberyard and bought some planking to make a raised platform and installed the platform in the shower. When the plaintiff came to collect the rent the next month, I paid him $275 and gave him the $20 reciept for the lumber, to pay the $295 rent. Three weeks after this, the City of Canton forced the plaintiff to repair the sewer. It is likely the plaintiff suspected that I had brought this action about by complaining to the City, although I did not. At any rate, three days after he was forced to repair the sewer, he gave us the original eviction notice. The first attempted eviction and unlawful detainer action was within 90 days of the retaliation. I tried to bring this to your attention during the last unlawful detainer action, but you dismissed the plaintiff's case before I could speak. Therefore, clearly, the burden of proof still lies with the landlord. In addition, the plaintiff received Federal HUD monies in the form of a grant to do the remodeling, and HUD regulations do not allow a tenant to be evicted for the purposes of remodeling without the tenant's consent, and the landlord paying the reasonable moving expenses of the tenant.
Your Honor, respect Statute 566.34 Subdivision 9, and do not dismiss the plaintiff's claim based on discrimination, retaliation or failing to meet HUD regulations. First allow my counterclaim for rent abatement to be heard, or you will allow the plaintiff to have perpetuated a crime and gotten away with it. This concludes my opening statements.