Residents forced out of apartments above 'nuisance' business say they can't get their belongings

Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 24, 2016

NORWOOD, Ohio -- Residents who were kicked out of their apartments over a "nuisance" business weeks ago said they still have no idea when they'll be able to get their things.

Police shut down Sherman Market and Donna's Carry-Out July 29 because they had been longtime problems in Norwood, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. When police closed the businesses, they also ordered the 16 residents of the apartments above Sherman Market to leave.

So far, residents have been let in to gather some small belongings, but they need to schedule an appointment to retrieve the rest of their things.

One of the former residents, Paul Johnson, said his family --including his wife, their 3-year-old daughter and their dog -- had been living in and out of their car, friends' homes and hotels since losing their apartment over Sherman Market.

"Financially, we're drained because of the hotel, gas and other stuff," Johnson said.

They have since moved into a new place in Northside, but don't have any of their furniture to move in because it's still all in the locked-up apartment over the market.

"We were pulled out and told we couldn't go back in," Johnson said. "That's still the same story, we can't go back to our place."

Johnson said it had been difficult to reach anyone from the police department who could help them. Tenant lawyer Noel Morgan with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio took up Johnson's case.

In court Monday, a judge ruled that the residents do not have the right their case in court, and only the property owner can.

"They've been evicted forcibly for things they had nothing to do with," Morgan said.

Lt. Ron Murphy with the Norwood Police Department said there may have been some communications issues caused by a new phone system, but police have been letting people into the apartments to get their things.

Any of the former residents who need to get in can call Murphy at 513-458-4545 to make an appointment.