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Lawsuit contends Ontario’s nuisance fines are excessive, unfair

ONTARIO – The city of Ontario’s enforcement of nuisance laws is unconstitutional, imposing “grossly disproportionate” fines that shouldn’t be allowed, an Ontario woman contends in a federal lawsuit over the city’s controversial program.

Heriberta Contreras Granados contends in her complaint filed in U.S. District Court that she had belated notices of issues with property she owned but didn’t occupy. She said she’s now blunted from selling the property – her only significant asset – because of city liens.

The city’s practice of piling up sometimes thousands of dollars on properties for weeds, junk cars and other nuisances drew sharp attention last year. Ontario Mayor Riley Hill sued the city over the program, winning a state court ruling in September that the city he presides over improperly fined him $500. The fine was overturned.

An investigation by the . . .