Deschutes County, Oregon – In June of 1986, Delilah Starr moved into a home she had purchased with her children. The home is located 5 miles southwest of Sun River, Oregon and had no indoor plumbing, toilet facilities or electrical wiring. Her toilet facility was a porta-potty and for heat she used a portable wood stove. She carried water from a well located on the property to her home.
On November 21, 1990, Deschutes County Code Enforcement Officer Glyndon Scott issued her six code violation citations. They included, installing a wood burning appliance without a permit, erecting a structure without a permit, unauthorized disposal of solid waste which included car parts and wood products that created a condition of unsightliness, conducting an on-sight sewage disposal without a permit, installation of electrical wiring without a permit and installation of plumbing fixtures without a permit. Each citation carried a maximum $500.00 fine.
On November 10, 1993, Scott issued Star six more citations for the same offences, calling them “continuing violations.” These new citations carried a maximum fine of $600.00 each.
On June 29, 1995, code enforcer Dale Trink issued four additional citations, three being for the same violations contained in those previously filed and the fourth for placing a travel trailer on her property without a permit. These new citations carried a maximum fine of $1,000.00 each.
The used cars “solid waste” Starr was charged with were cars she used for spare parts. The wood products “solid waste” citation was for wood she used during the winter to heat her home with.
Deschutes County ran the fines up to $111, 815.00 on this unemployed mother and then ran her through “legal” proceedings where her statements that her home had no electrical wiring or plumbing and only a portable stove were callously ignored by all involved, as were her statements that the “solid waste” cars were used for parts and the “wood products” for fire wood.
Judges Stephen Tiktin and Alta Brady reportedly then signed judgments foreclosing Starr’s interest in her property and the county subsequently sent her a check for $25,000 to cover her homestead exemption.
Starr received the following notice: Your property located at 56095 Savage Drive Bend, Oregon 97707 has been sold at Sheriff’s Sale. The property was sold on December 1, 2005 to satisfy a court judgment against you. The purchaser’s name and address are: Deschutes County. The purchaser paid $111,815.00 for defendants’ right, interest in the property. Oregon Law gives you the right to buy back the property from the purchaser by paying the purchaser the amount paid at the sale plus taxes, expenses and interest. YOU WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO BUY BACK YOUR PROPERTY ON MAY 30, 2006. If you do not do so the County will deed your property over to the purchaser on that date. The notice was signed by Deschutes County Sheriff Les Stiles.
The US~Observer is outraged at the high-handed and ruthless treatment of Delilah Starr by Deschutes County government. Who was Ms. Starr hurting and did she ever really own her property in the first place? When government resorts to stealing from innocent little old ladies it is time for all citizens to start raising hell with that government.
Those who have experienced the same treatment from Deschutes County or who want to support Delilah Starr can contact her at 541-420-8490.