The property where the Boehning Building in Seneca once stood was put up for bids at a sheriff’s auction last month, and the City of Seneca won with a bid of $5,000.
“The City of Seneca won the bid and they are the rightful owners of the property, the sheriff has signed the deed,” said Will Peterson, attorney for the City of Seneca.
The city had a civil lawsuit against the Boehnings to pay $80,000 (the money the city spent to tear down the building). The Boehnings never showed up to court, nor did they contest the lawsuit, said Peterson, which resulted in the city getting a default judgment for $80,000.
“A default judgment is a piece of paper saying you are entitled to that money, whether they pay for it or if its collected in other ways,” said Peterson.
Since the Boehnings were not voluntarily going to pay that money, he said the city had the opportunity to collect on assets.
“The judgement did not give us the title, so we had the sheriff go out and look at some real estate property and we also filled out a property execution application,” said Peterson.
The sheriff posted the notification publication on the Boehning Building property and also mailed a copy of it to the Boehnings.
The City of Seneca then placed a bid of $5,000 and won the deed to the property.
“Even though the city paid for the property, this now decreases the Boehnings remaining debt by $5,000,” said Peterson.
Former Seneca attorney Andy Wood and the Boehnings’ attorney at the time several months ago decided that criminal charges would be dropped if the Boehnings didn’t cause problems in the civil lawsuit.
“As a practical matter the issue is over and done with, seeing as we will never get the full amount back,” said Peterson.
The City of Seneca now has the power do do what they want with the property to try and regain more money.
“That’s the problem in so many of these cases, you’re using good money to chase bad money and the odds of seeing the full amount are very slim to none,” said Peterson.
Where Seneca will go from here is yet to be determined, he said, but for now it seems that the case has been put to rest.