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Meth Stole my home

When my niece, Chris H., and two friends were arrested in my three bedroom home, I thought they'd be held accountable for the damage caused by their use of Meth. It wasn't a Lab, they just used it in the kitchen and blew the smoke out the stove fan. The intake for the furnace sucked it in, and distributed it throughout the furnace ducts. Ten years later, my home is listed as a Meth site, its value has dropped to zero (taxable value), and I can't clean it, rent it, or sell it unless I hire State certified contractors to do the work, supervised by the MT DEQ. Their criminal convictions didn't address the damage, or the costs of remeditation (mandated by MT state law 75-10-13), and INSURANCE DOESN'T COVER IT. The property can't be used for collateral for a loan, and remeditation will cost another $5-10K. None of the three have done as they promised in the lease, or complied with the civil court rulings that they should. As the leaseholders, they were considered the "owners" of the property when it was contaminated in 2006, yet they have skated from the legal requirements. This situation horrified my family, and has caused incredible hardship for me. My niece and her friends brag that they "stuck (me) with the mess". The property will remain unused and unusable until the Ninth District Court enforces its rulings, as I can no longer afford to pursue the civil case I've won, including over $69K in payments ordered by the court from my niece.

The Montana Meth Law punishes innocent property owners, and its application allows the guilty to leave thousands of dollars in damage with no penalty.

The Montana Meth Law should be modified to force criminals to fix the damage caused, before they're allowed to plea bargain their criminal offenses.

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