by: Henry Rosoff Updated:West Seattle, Wash. —
A disabled Vietnam veteran facing eviction will not be forced to leave his home--yet. A King County judge ruled Seattle police do not have to arrest Byron Barton and his family for trespassing. Triangle Properties, a developer, bought the house in foreclosure in April after the Bartons fell behind on their mortgage payments.
The Bartons are suing their bank and were aided by protesters in July when King County Sheriff’s deputies tried to force them to leave. In the ruling, Judge Mariane Spearman suggested Triangle Properties had not exhausted all its options to get the Bartons to leave. Spearman also suggested the developer refile with the court requesting the Sheriff’s Office once again try to evict the Bartons.
The developer has yet to be reached for comment since the ruling.
Also Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray released a statement that said city social workers have been trying to help the Bartons since July. Murray said the family was given information about how to get in touch with charities and government agencies that might be able to help them find a new place to live. Murray went on to say that throughout the course of working with the Bartons, workers noticed conditions so bad they felt compelled to contact Adult Protective Services.
The Bartons claim the conditions inside their home are livable, and said the information given to them by city workers was “useless.”
A spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office said the whole situation is not a normal. She said deputies process evictions daily that go much more smoothly.