Justly Prudent files civil rights lawsuit against County's Nuisance Abatement Board

By JD Howlette Law

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Maryland – Today, Justly Prudent announced the filing of a significant civil rights lawsuit against Prince George’s County and members of its Nuisance Abatement Board (NAB) for engaging in a pattern of unlawfully stripping County residents of their constitutional rights under the false pretense of tackling public nuisances.

According to the complaint, the seven-member NAB unlawfully seized property belonging to Collision Towing and Auto Body, LLC (“Collision Towing”), and its owner, Cornelius Woods (“Woods”), and ordered the immediate closure of the business based upon common code violations involving trash and debris. At the direction of the NAB, code enforcement inspectors with the County’s Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) padlocked all entry points to the property and largely refused to allow Woods or his team access to the property. The NAB’s closure order has lasted nearly a year despite repeated requests from Woods to lift the order. As a result, Woods lost all his insurance contracts and was forced to lay off nearly a dozen employees, terminate a youth apprenticeship program, and ultimately sell his property just to survive.