Lawsuit targets violence-plagued apartments in Birmingham

June 6, 2021 GMT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The city of Birmingham has filed suit asking the owners of an apartment development to accomplish what local authorities haven’t been able to do: Stop violence in the complex.

A lawsuit announced Friday by the city demands that owners of Birmingham’s Valley Brook Apartments be required to take steps to reduce gun violence and other illegal activities.

The suit asked a court to require improvements including around-the-clock security, comprehensive audio and video surveillance, and technology that captures auto license plates. A judge should force the owners to sell if they can’t fix problems that include six gun-related incidents and two killings since February, the lawsuit contends.

“Landlords must be put on notice,” city attorney Nicole King said in a statement. “You will be held accountable if you do not take care of your property or allow crime to take place.”

The complex is owned by Steele Valley Brook LLC, according to the lawsuit. The company hasn’t filed a response in court or listed its attorney, and there was no immediate response to a message sent to a company linked to Steele Valley Brook in state records.