Aurora man wants bird hoarding charges dismissed
Dave Skeberdis with one of his birds in October outside his Aurora townhouse.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Crews removed garbage and other items in October from the Aurora home of David Skeberdis.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Charges against a man accused of hoarding nearly 500 dead and living birds inside his Aurora townhouse should be dismissed because the city didn't take the proper legal steps to remove the animals, according to his attorney.
David Skeberdis, 58, was charged with misdemeanor animal hoarding in November after Aurora officials took 478 birds — 120 of them dead — from his feces-ridden residence on the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane.
This week, defense attorney Roderick Mollison filed a motion in DuPage County court for the charges to be dismissed. He contends the city failed to give his client adequate time to come into compliance with animal welfare guidelines, as required by statute.
The motion also accuses the city of failing to get necessary authorization from the Illinois Department of Agriculture to impound the animals.
If the charges are dropped, Mollison said, Skeberdis has agreed not to seek return of the birds, which were taken in by the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club.
"He's not in any position to care for them," Mollison said Wednesday. "He just basically wants to put this behind him."
In a separate motion in Kane County court, Mollison is fighting a civil complaint filed last year against Skeberdis by the city.
The complaint accuses Skeberdis of maintaining a "nuisance" property and violating city code. But Mollison argues the city has failed to turn over a search warrant that would have formed the basis of its case, and that the condition of his client's home does not meet the city's own criteria for a nuisance property because it does not affect other residents or neighboring properties.
The city code on nuisances "is not written or intended to be a code of conduct for the individuals who reside in the city of Aurora, whatever their own living conditions might be, or however offensive their living conditions might be viewed individually, unless and until it affects others," the motion says. "There is no allegation in the complaint that the conditions at the defendant's premises had any effect on or produced any complaints from other residents."
Aurora officials declined to comment.
Skeberdis returns to court Feb. 21 for the civil case. A hearing on his motion to dismiss in the misdemeanor case is set for Feb. 26.
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