Bossier Parish Police Jury discusses eviction protocol

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Possessions of evicted tenant abandoned at roadside in Bossier Parish. (Courtesy of Glenn Benton)

What happens to the possessions of an evicted tenant? That question was discussed at length during Wednesday’s meeting of the Bossier Parish Police Jury.

District 2 Juror Glenn Benton brought up the subject, describing a situation that occurred in his district regarding eviction items that were left on the side of the road for about three weeks.

“This happened about a month ago out on Hwy 80,” Benton said. “Someone was evicted from the trailer park and [the owners] moved it out to the right of way. We don’t pick up according to our parish engineer on Hwy 80 and apparently the state wouldn’t pick it up. It just laid there for three weeks. That should have not been dumped out on our public right of way.”

Benton also said that he believes with a situation like this, it should be the responsibility of the land owner, not the taxpayers.“I believe this should be the responsibility of the landowner for removal [and taken ] to the landfill, not Parish taxpayers,” he said.

Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson advised the jurors that the Louisiana Attorney General’s office has been telling constables to take the property to the nearest public right of way and leave it as salvage so anybody could come along and take it, including the original owners.

“Obviously this presents a problem,” Jackson said.

Jackson admitted that at this time he doesn’t have a solution to prevent a situation like this in the future. But said he has a few thoughts.

“Designate some public property as an impound yard,” Jackson said. “We can say if you get evicted your property will be located here, it will be stored at $100 a day, and after 10 days, if it’s not picked up then we will give it to Goodwill.”

The second option, Jackson said, is to help the constables and send a flatbed truck over to haul the items to the parish impound yard.

“We need to give clear guidance to the constables that are doing this,” he said.

Jackson said he will conduct further research and give the jury a recommendation at the next regular scheduled meeting.