Judge: Lake-cabin eviction ‘holds no water’

By Max Fontaine | Hard-news court reporter

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Theft from a winter rental cabin led to an eviction claim, which was overturned this week by the very judge who approved it.

Local judge Judge Judy Judge has issued a judgment regarding an eviction case stemming from a kitchen-oriented theft earlier this year.

Judge ruled this week that an eviction notice issued in January following a mid-bathing break-in at a Bass Lake rental cabin, was “impermissible” and “possibly non-constitutional.”

The cabin’s owner, nestled in a warmer climate at the time, began eviction proceedings almost immediately against the tenant for “bathtime negligence.”

Judge said this week there were no grounds for such a claim.

“Judging from the evidence, the homeowner was treading on thin ice with an eviction,” Judge told the court. “Case dismissed.”

An appeal is pending.

The decision is an example of “undo process.” Perhaps ironically — or perhaps not, depending on the true definition of “ironic” — Judge was the judge who approved the eviction in the first place, according to court documents.

She was asked today why she issued the approval, only to rescind it.

“I wanted to test the integrity of the legal system,” Judge said. “After all, if you can’t overrule yourself, who can you trust?”

The renter, whose identity adds nothing to the conversation, said he decided not to fight eviction, especially after the sink drain failed to work the day after the burglary. He began “sleeping over” at his sister’s farmhouse out near Out-on-the-Highway Road.

With eviction lifted, he plans to enjoy the cabin for five more days, then move out and make room for the home’s summer tenant.

Loyer Bailiph, 43, public attorney for the renter, said he “(am) happy” with the ruling, and urged the judge to take even further action.

“We fully expect her to bring a lawsuit against herself,” Bailiph said.

An attorney for the owner did not attend the court session, due to a vacation commitment.

The wintering homeowner was expected to return to have returned to the area by now, but friends and family are uncertain about her status.

No suspect has been identified in the disposal-thievery, according to Bass Lake Police Authority.

“Honestly, we forget all about it after we heard we were getting a helicopter,” said Chief Gwen “Tug” McNabb.

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