Judge orders squatter out of Memphis 'junkyard house'

Judge orders squatter out of Memphis 'junkyard house'

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A judge ordered the people living inside a "junkyard house" to get out immediately.

The house first made headlines on July 12, when neighbors came to WMC Action News 5 seeking help. They said a house in their neighborhood had a squatter living in it who was trashing the house and everything else in sight.

The alleged squatter did not show up for court Monday, but Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter still ordered them to vacate the house immediately.

Judge Potter said Code Enforcement agents would now return to the house to clean it up.

The home's owner lives in Texas. Still, neighbors said Kelley Smercak has been living in the home for years.

"No one has the legal authority to be in that property," Potter said. "Someone's in that property without permission, then they are damaging the property."

Now, just being in the home could be considered a crime.

"Anybody caught on that property shall be deemed a trespasser," Potter said.

As for Smercak, Potter issued a bench warrant with a $10,000 bond for her.

Investigators said Code Enforcement agents will begin cleaning up the mess as soon as possible, and the home's rightful owner will be forced to pay the tab.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.