Copper couple gaining support

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By MIKE MORRIS

and SCOTT PESZNECKER

A Copperopolis couple fighting to keep their home now have the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors in their corner.

And the Sonora attorney for Thomas and Anita Radcliff filed a motion Friday to abolish a lawsuit filed last month on behalf of an Alameda man who bought the Radcliffs' home for $70,000 at a foreclosure auction.

The motion says the lawsuit should be dismissed because a representative of home buyer Robert Vardanega didn't properly serve the lawsuit summons to the Radcliffs.

In that Jan. 14 lawsuit, Vardanega ordered the Radcliffs to leave the house in three days, or start paying $43.33 a day in rent. The Radcliffs' sons built the house two years ago, and it was appraised at $289,000.

But Michael Macomber, the Radcliffs' attorney, said Vardanega's lawsuit should be nullified because a summons wasn't given to the Radcliffs.

When Vardanega's representative came to the Radcliffs' house to serve the lawsuit, the summons was given to the Radcliffs' son, Joel, who answered the door.

Only after three unsuccessful tries to reach a defendant can a server hand summons papers to someone else, Macomber said.

A Calaveras County Superior Court judge will rule on Macomber's motion in court tomorrow at 2 p.m. in San Andreas. If the motion is denied, the Radcliffs will have five days to file a response.

The Radcliffs' housing dilemma at the Copper Cove subdivision near Tulloch Reservoir has captured national media attention.

Coast Assessment, the collection agency for the Copper Cove at Lake Tulloch Owners Association, sold the Radcliffs' house at the public auction in December because they failed to pay $120 in association dues in January 2003. Late charges and penalties eventually increased the $120 to about $2,000.

11535074
The Union Democrat
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