BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – On Wednesday, the Office of the City Attorney for the City of Birmingham filed a lawsuit to have the East Thomas Apartments declared a public nuisance. 

In April, the owners of the property were notified that the complex was in violation of Birmingham’s property maintenance code, and they had until May 27 to bring it into compliance. The city states the owners failed to do so. 

On May 28, the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service was called to a fire that had destroyed most of the vacant complex.

Supposedly located at 2000 10th Street West, the apartments have been the site of many calls regarding arson, violent crimes, illegal drug sales, overdoses and theft. The lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court stated that the city has received numerous complaints regarding the property.

“When violence and drugs threaten public safety, it’s important that the city steps in to disrupt the flow of drugs into our streets, holds criminals accountable and makes our neighborhoods safer for residents, businesses and visitors,” said City Attorney Nicole E. King.

In light of recent events, the City of Birmingham requested an emergency hearing before Circuit Judge Marshell Jackson Hatcher. The city’s goal is to produce a court-order that requires the owners of the property to make it safe and habitable. 

“The city’s Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits, Birmingham Police Department, local businesses and concerned neighbors helped bring this dangerous property to our attention,” King said. “The city will continue to identify problem properties and work with our partners to find solutions that strengthen neighborhoods and make Birmingham safer for residents, families and businesses.”

Such partners include the Drug and Nuisance Abatement Team (DNAT), created in 2020, which holds landowners accountable – through the courts – for keeping their properties clean and free of crime.