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Mobile home park owner files response to Ellison’s lawsuit

Schierholz denies allegations, requests complaint to be dismissed

MARSHALL — The owner of a Marshall mobile home park being being sued by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office filed a response in Lyon County District Court last week.

Court documents said Schierholz and Associates, the Colorado company that owns the Broadmoor Valley mobile home park, denies most of the allegations in the lawsuit and is requesting that the complaint be dismissed.

In late August, Attorney General Keith Ellison announced his office was suing Broadmoor Valley’s owner for failing to maintain the park and its roads to state standards, and for practices like charging residents illegally high penalties for late rent payments.

Residents of Broadmoor Valley have been speaking out against conditions there since 2018. Residents say roads in the park are full of deep potholes, and school buses are no longer allowed into Broadmoor Valley. The park also had a number of badly deteriorated empty homes with broken windows, missing skirting and water damage.

In their lawsuit, the Attorney General’s Office also alleged that Schierholz and Associates charged residents late rent fees above the state limit of 8% of the amount overdue.

Schierholz’s response to the lawsuit, filed Sept. 16, denied most of the allegations. The court documents said Schierholz and Associates admits there are abandoned homes “that are in disrepair” at Broadmoor Valley. However, the response said vandalism by third parties had caused some of the damage to homes.

The response claimed one home mentioned in the lawsuit had been allowed to deteriorate by its owner. That home was removed before Aug. 27 when Ellison announced the lawsuit, the response said.

The lawsuit response claimed repairs are being done on the roads at Broadmoor Valley, but Schierholz and Associates didn’t have enough information to either admit to or deny some of the Attorney General’s claims about the condition of the roads.

The response denied that late fees at Broadmoor Valley were excessive. Minnesota’s 8% limit on late rent penalties hadn’t yet been put in place when the lease agreements were made, the response said. The 8% limit also doesn’t apply to late fees for leasing a manufactured home lot, the response said.

Schierholz and Associates asked that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice, and that they be awarded attorney’s fees and costs.

No hearing dates have been set in the case yet.

The city of Marshall has also taken its own separate action over abandoned mobile homes at Broadmoor Valley. Earlier this month, the city declared four of the empty homes to be hazardous structures, and issued an order to remove them.

At a meeting of the Marshall City Council, Marshall City Attorney Dennis Simpson said issuing the abatement order could help lay the groundwork for the city to take future action against Schierholz.

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