Legal Legends Sometimes Fact is Stranger Than Fiction

 Along with property managers, attorneys may be keepers of some of the best  stories to come out of Chicagoland's condos and HOA communities. They hear and  see (and litigate) it all, from the crazy cat lady who diversifies into African  goat-rearing in her backyard to the suspected mobster who may—or may not?—be running a house of ill repute out of his condo apartment.  

 Marshall N. Dickler started practicing law in the 1970s and in his 40-plus year  career he’s seen and heard it all when it comes to association’s legal cases, from the heart-wrenching to the ridiculous. One of his favorite  water cooler stories is the case of the unit owner, his girlfriend and the  nearly erotic eviction.  

 “The unit owner had a wife, too, but broke up with the girlfriend,” says Dickler, the principal of Dickler, Kahn, Slowikowski & Zavell, Ltd., in Arlington Heights. “The girlfriend wouldn’t move out of his other condo, so he stopped paying the assessments. We got an  eviction order, but she was unaware of it. When the sheriff showed up, she was  in a red negligee and the sheriff literally removed her from the premises in  the negligee. Kids gathered to see the nearly naked lady - and I got phone  calls from the board about upset mothers.”  

 Ultimately, the girlfriend disappeared and the owner sold the unit.  

 For Steven Welhouse, a partner at The Sterling Law Office in Chicago, finding a  unit owner became a true challenge. “We had one case when the unit owner had completely walked away from the unit and  we were forced to file suit for late fees,” says Welhouse.  

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