Louisiana Contractor Charged With Carting Away Woman’s Roof

download-2Andrew Jackson Higdon III may be unique among accused felons.  While burglars and thieves have been known to take a variety of novel items, how many are accused of actually carting away the actual roof?

Higdon, 66, installed a new roof in West Monroe, Louisiana for Brenda Kelly in June 2016. Kelly insisted that she would pay for the roof when insurance money came in.  She did not pay off the roof for months so Higdon decided to “repossess” the roof.  Kelly came home and found her roof tiles gone.

Higdon reportedly said that he was scammed by Higdon.

Higdon said he spent about $5,700 out of pocket on the supplies and labor and that Kelly owed a bill around $7,000.  The removal of the shingles and roofing paper allegedly caused rain damage amounting to $11,500, according to the News Star.

Higon was arrested and charged with criminal damage to property and criminal trespass.


23 thoughts on “Louisiana Contractor Charged With Carting Away Woman’s Roof”

  1. Any reputable contractor files a mechanics lien. You get a downpayment, which is typically regulated by the state, and then progressive payments. That way, neither one screws the other. If you don’t get paid, you take them to small claims (but avoid regular court at all costs because the only people who get paid are the lawyers.)

    I have no idea if he did good work or not. She might have been one of those people who expect workmen to work for free. Or perhaps he did a lousy job on the roof and she objected to the work.

    This is one of those situations where it is entirely possible that the roofer was wronged, but the way he went about remedying the situation put himself in hot water.

  2. Off topic. We need a new topic on the blog. One that can be discussed early and often.
    Medicare. The government system needs to be divided into two tiers. Medicare for All Sane Humans and Medicare for Suicidal Humans. The Suicide group shall be all those who use opiods or smoke tobacco or pot. The Suicide grouip is comprised of dumb people. But it is redundant to call someone “a dumb smoker”. They know what they are doing and that it will kill them. If they don’t know then they are dumb but either way they are dumb. This group is sending the overall medical costs sky high. It costs trillions to perfrom heart surgeries and all sorts of other medical attempts to keep these dorks alive. Same with the opiod dorks. Put them in a separate program which they pay for separately from the rest of us. Also encourage their suicide attempts to succeed. Guns are quicker. Let them know that.

    1. That second group would need to include the obese, people who ride motorcycles horses and bicycles without helmets, high rise window washers, people who don’t floss regularly…pretty much everybody except the virtuous Liberty2nd, anyway.

  3. Although I am on his side on this one, I did work for Arthur Anderson auditing the damage claims by a major insurance company for major damage during an earthquake in California. I learned then that they were low-balling the prices they were paying the “victims” and they were “slow-walking” the payments. So, she wasn’t getting paid, so he wasn’t getting paid.

  4. This is why the law allows for contractors and mechanics to file liens against property or filing a claim in civil court, and that would have been the proper course in this case. Instead, the guy took the lawless route of trespass and destruction of another’s property. If everybody here is happy with folks taking whatever remedy might tickle one’s fancy, we can save a lot of money by abolishing the civil court system.

    1. The law also allows for self-help when items have been stolen from you. In this case, he was swindled and not charged for repossessing his property but the damage caused in trespassing (which I think is bogus) and not protecting the roof after repossession.

      1. he failed to perfect a lien on the property. if you have no lien, you have no self help rghts.

        1. he failed to perfect a lien on the property. if you have no lien, you have no self help rghts.
          Don’t know where that notion came from. If you swindle me out of my lawn mower and I see it in your front yard, lien or no lien, I’m coming to get it.

  5. Why doesn’t Quachita Parish District Attorney Steve Tew have his email online? Doesn’t he want to hear from constituents or other members of the public complaining about his office reversing victim and offender? The real criminal is the fraudster homeowner. When I read about cases like this I often exercise my First Amendment rights, sending emails to prosecutors. This is a case where such an email would be warranted…

    1. All that matters is what Louisiana Private Construction Lien Law says. That law provides that such non-payment issues with the homeowner be addressed through attachment of a Mechanic’s Lien to the property. However, there are certain filing deadlines that must be met after completion of the work and Higdon may have missed those deadlines and that’s if he is a licensed roofer. I believe he could have recovered up to $5000 of the $7000 owed in Small Claims Court in Louisiana. Instead, Higdon’s misguided actions resulted in an even larger financial loss for Kelly’s home insurer who is on the hook for the resulting water damage.

      Higdon’s actions will result in the worst possible outcome for him. If he did follow the lien law previous to his “recovery actions”, it is now nullified as the work is no longer completed. He cannot take his issue to Small Claims Court now. Instead, he is subject to a damage claim from the homeowner’s insurance carrier and will likely be forced to pay for the water damage. He is still liable to repay suppliers for the shingles, tar paper, and nails used to complete the roofing job. His construction license may be in jeopardy. That’s a huge price to pay for a little personal revenge.

      Yes, Kelly apparently took advantage of him. However, just as there are laws to protect the consumer from unscrupulous businesses, there are laws to protect business owners from unscrupulous consumers. A person cannot make their own laws which is what Higdon did. Disregard those laws at your own peril.

  6. On a personal note, I once worked for a mason hauling block. That summer he had a job building a chimney for another “on the come” homeowner whose willingness to pay was in doubt. I asked why he’d take the chance and he said it was not an issue. Well we built the chimney and, of course, the homeowner refused to pay. We’ll fall rolled around and payment still wasn’t forthcoming, we got a call from the scofflaw and learned the home had filled with smoke from the fireplace. The homeowner was furious the job wasn’t done right. The mason said if he paid his bill the problem would vanish. Grudgingly, that happened. The mason collected his bill in cash and then climbed onto the roof. He dropped a half of a brick down the flue and the sound of shattered glass was heard. Seems the mason mortared in a sheet of glass in the chimney as guaranty of payment. Guys like that don’t need lawyers!

    1. Now that is a brilliant idea! If you get sweet talked out of getting a downpayment or any partial payments, you’ve got to have some means of ensuring you get paid. You just cannot depend upon the goodness of people’s hearts.

      I’ll bet the homeowner was red-faced!

  7. “Andrew Jackson Higdon III may be unique among accused felons. “
    The article says he was charged with two misdemeanors: destruction of property (presumably for the water damage) and trespass.

    “Andrew Jackson Higdon III, 66, of 933 Harrell Road, West Monroe, was arrested Tuesday and charged with simple criminal damage to property and criminal trespass. Both are misdemeanors.”

    You might want to change the lede.

  8. I don’t feel sorry for Brenda Kelly one tiny bit. Her house would have been damaged by rain a long time ago if this man hadn’t placed a roof on her house based on a fraudulent promise. I hope he has a good attorney and she now has no roof!

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