Phoenix woman fights city over trash dumping and wins

So what do you do if your city says you're disobeying an ordinance, and you're not guilty.
 
One Phoenix senior took action and wasn't about to pay for something she didn't do.
 
For 50 years, Claire has lived in the same house and says she never had any issues with the city, until earlier this month.
 
"I had the city of Phoenix come to my door with a card saying, you know, I was doing wrong," she told me.
 
It was a notice saying that there was trash dumped behind Claire's backyard fence in the alley. And she needed to remove it.
 
"I was shocked, I couldn't believe it. I didn't know who did it," Claire said.
 
Someone dumped carpeting and padding, wood, grass clippings, bookshelves, an old appliance and more in the alley right next to Claire's backyard fence.
 
Claire says she's never had trouble with the city before and wants to keep it that way.
 
"I was worried. I certainly didn't want to be cited or fined," she said.
 
She asks, "What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I'm not guilty."
 
So Claire let me know. 
 
And she did it in a way you can too.
 
Claire called the Let Joe Know helpline at 855-323-1515 and talked with the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteer team 
 
They answer the phones, refer consumers to helpful agencies, and in this case, started working on solving the problem.
 
The team got hold of the right people at the city of Phoenix.  
 
They explained Claire's side of what happened and that she knew nothing about the mess.
 
The Assistance League volunteers kept in touch with Claire and had some good news.
 
The city called Claire.
 
"As a courtesy call they will come out, dispose of it," Claire said.
 
And Claire had her fingers crossed as she told me.
 
True to their word, city workers came out just a few days later.
 
They ended up taking all of the debris in the alley leaving the spot behind Claire's house clean.
 
And her worries about a citation were gone.
 
"Oh, it's such a relief, such a relief," she told me.
 
Thanks to the Phoenix Public Works Department for taking care of this and listening to Claire's side.
 
They say they take these on a case by case basis and try to solve them before they would lead to a citation.
 
In this case, a department spokesperson told me they took into consideration that Claire has never had issues like this before.
 
Read the Phoenix bulk trash rules.
 
If you have a similar issue, make sure to call or email your public works department and fight it.
 
In Phoenix, the customer service phone number is 602-262-7251 and the e-mail is pwserve@phoenix.gov .
 
If you email, you have written proof that you did so.
 
If it does lead to a citation, you still have the ability to appeal it in the civil court process.
 
Need my help? Talk to the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers live Wednesdays and Fridays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.. at 855-323-1515 or leave a message anytime.
 
You can also send me an e-mail, a tweet, or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.
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