Bing and Ellen have filed a series of pro se (representing themselves) appeals to challenge DDOT permitting shenanigans. Their appeals have been very unusual,
since DC homeowners rarely take cases of official wrongdoing related to small construction projects to court, at least beyond the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) level. At OAH, appeals are free and homeowners
generally represent themselves. Homeowners have trouble identifiying abuse of authority in permitting in the context of a zoning scheme that cannot be described as user-friendly to ordinary consumers, and can seldom
pay counsel to challenge. The result is that fighting back presents high hurdles.
In the tree house case, court mediation has failed twice in the last
two years, at OAH and the DC Court of Appeals. Simply put, DDOT will not agree to let the tree house alone until the Yee girls have grown up enough to tire of playing in it - the parents have not pushed for damages to settle the matter. Ellen and
Bing filed a complaint in the US District Court of the District of Columbia under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFFA). They filed only after DDOT rejected mediation at OAH in late 2017.
If nothing changes, having made good progress in litigation, Bing and Ellen likely have several more years of it before them if they want the time for their girls to age out of their tree house.
The documents below are brimming with black humor for anybody pondering why statehood remains an elusive goal for the District of Columbia.