City of Milwaukee Office of the City Attorney
Press Release

City of Milwaukee Drughouse Lawsuit

The subject property of this lawsuit is located at 1513 N. 37th Street.

By - Oct 30th, 2019 08:42 am

Last month, the City Attorney filed a lawsuit against landlord Brendan M. Julien Sr for failing to abate a public nuisance drug house.  An injunction hearing is scheduled this Thursday, October 31st at 10 a.m., in Milwaukee County Courthouse Room 413 before the Honorable David Swanson, seeking a court order to immediately close and board up the drug house during the pendency of the case.

The subject property of this lawsuit is located at 1513 N. 37th Street. It is in very close proximity to the Mary McLeod Bethune Academy elementary school. Last summer, community members and school representatives observed drug and prostitution related activity stemming from the property and alerted the Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”), prompting an investigation.

In June, a search warrant was executed at the property by MPD. Crack cocaine and heroin were seized from the property in amounts consistent with the sale of illegal narcotics, along with evidence of prostitution related activity.  The City’s complaint alleges that the property owner has known or should have known of his tenant’s illegal activities and has failed to act as a responsible property owner to abate and prevent illegal drug activity at his property.  During surveillance conducted by the Milwaukee Police Department prior to the warrant, officers observed the owner of the property present while drug related transactions were occurring.

Neither the warrant nor the filing of this lawsuit has deterred the criminal activity from continuing.  Should the court order the property immediately closed, it would alleviate the significant negative impact these activities are having on the neighborhood, and in particular, the grade school students’ exposure to the crimes being committed.

This lawsuit seeks to not only close the property, but ultimately have the court order the sale of the property with the proceeds of the sale awarded to the police department and the City for anti-drug and anti-gang initiatives.

For additional information, please contact Assistant City Attorney Heather Hecimovich Hough at 414-286-2615 or hhough@milwaukee.gov.

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