FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - The battle between a Farmington Hills family and the local government was sent to mediation by a judge after the government said the family has to tear down their $900,000 home.
The homeowners were ordered to tear down their nearly million-dollar home and pay for the privilege.
Suhkpal Dhillon and his wife, Amarpreet Dhillon, own the house on Howard Road in Farmington Hills. They said they've been dealing with a drain disaster for six years.
Six attorneys showed up Wednesday for a case hearing before Oakland County Chief Judge Nanci Grant.
"I want to make it clear, there is no innocent party on this one," Grant declared.
The Dhillons bought their three-car garage home on a creek near a golf course out of foreclosure, thinking they'd gotten a great deal.
Instead, they got a major shock when the local drain district discovered the previous owner took out a manhole to a sewer drain and build the house on top of it.
The county drain commission said it needs access to the manhole because it's leaking and could cause a sinkhole as damaging as the one in Fraser.
"Has anyone actually taken up the basement floor to see exactly what is going on underneath that house?" Grant asked. "Wouldn't that be the easiest way to take care of it?"
That idea is one reason the Dhillons want to go to mediation, which Grant strongly suggested.
"I think anybody objectively looking at this will come to conclude that if you're going to morally or ethically look at this situation, the Dhillons are completely innocent of doing anything wrong," attorney Joe Bernardi said.
The country drain commission said it welcomes mediation, which is expected to come over the next two weeks, with a mediator trying to come up with some kind of solution.
Grant gave the sides until April 5 to work something out.
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