Sheriff’s Officers Accused Of Emptying Wrong Home In Botched Foreclosure

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HILLSIDE – A 76-year-old Hillside woman has filed a claim for damages against Union County, alleging that officers of the county sheriff’s department illegally entered her home and removed the entire contents because they had the wrong address of a foreclosure.

In the document, obtained by Tina Renna of The County Watchers, Ozzie Leak claims that Union County Sheriff Ralph Froelich’s officers entered her home on Nov. 3, 2010 and removed the household contents. Leak is seeking $500,000. She charges that the sheriff’s officers destroyed property, including items of sentimental value, caused emotional distress and mental anguish and left her unable to provide housing for family.

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According to the claim, Leak received unspecified treatment at JFK Medical Center in Edison from Nov. 26 through Nov. 28, 2010 as a result of the alleged actions of the sheriff’s officers.

Under the state’s Tort Claims Act, a party must file notice of a claim against a public entity within 90 days of the cause for the claim. Six months after filing the claim, the party may file a civil lawsuit if no settlement has been reached.

Froehlich’s office has performed more than 15,000 foreclosures in recent years.


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