A Florida husband and wife are taking their fight with a city to a new level.
According to WWSB, Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran of Holmes Beach have been fighting since 2015 to keep their beloved tree house, which cost $30,000 to make.
Construction on the tree house was completed in 2013. The city went after the couple two years after the fact when it learned that they did not obtain a permit to build it, though it encompasses an Australian pine tree on their own property.
“Every time we’ve thought to work things out, it just doesn’t work with City Hall,” Tran said.
She and her husband are committed to the fight, but the stakes are high.
The couple is paying $200,000 in legal fees and faces a fine of $50 a day, beginning in 2015. However, there may be hope for their tree house if the Supreme Court of the United States decides to hear their case.
“The case is not just a tree house. It involves property rights, and our petition rights,” Tran argued.
Of the thousands of cases presented before the Supreme Court, only 80 are heard each year. The couple hopes to be one of those cases, though their lawyers believe that it’s unlikely.
Still, the chance is enough to keep them going, for now.
“If the court doesn’t want to hear it, then I don’t know where we will go from there,” Tran said. “We’re just taking it one step at a time.”
As for the city, Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson criticized the legal fight as a “waste of time.”