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Attorney Sues Over Office Eviction

Kathryn Quigley  Staff Writer   June 14, 1997; Page 04C    

DAYTONA BEACH -- Last week, a well-known local criminal defense lawyer who got behind in his rent was thrown out of his Seabreeze Boulevard office.    

  This week, lawyer Craig Boda is suing his landlord. Boda claims he was evicted improperly and locked out of his suite on the seventh floor of 444 Seabreeze Blvd. His employees were told to leave the office on June 6. Meanwhile, his client case files, office furniture, computer equipment and records are still inside. Boda said he can't get in to retrieve his property -- which means his clients' right to privacy might be in jeopardy.    

On Thursday, Boda filed a complaint against 444 Seabreeze Boulevard Associates Ltd. in Volusia County Circuit Court. He is seeking damages and the immediate return of his property.    

Loeb Partners Realty and Development Corp. manages the Seabreeze Boulevard building. Lawyer Godwin J. Essien said Boda's complaint was unfounded.    

``Actually, it's a joke,'' Essien said.    

Boda signed a lease for the 942-square-foot office suite on October 1, 1994. His lease was set to expire September 30, 1997, according to court documents. His rent was $1,256 a month.    

Essien would not say how much back rent Boda owed.    

``A lot!'' said an employee of Loeb Partners Realty who would not give her name.    

Doug Daniels, who is representing Boda, admitted his client owed some money and had been planning to move to another office. But Daniels said the landlord did not follow proper eviction procedures.    

Boda was evicted before the five-day time period to respond to the eviction notice was up, Daniels said. And a judge had not signed the writ of eviction, he said.    

``The point is, they locked him out and they didn't have the right to,'' Daniels said.    

Boda is concerned about his client files and fears they will be tampered with. Boda, 40, has practiced law in Volusia County since 1982.    

Essien said the dispute between the landlord and Boda is long-standing. Daniels agreed the two parties have been at odds.    

``They're angry at him,'' he said.    

Boda is now practicing law in offices at 457 S. Ridgewood Avenue. He could not be reached for comment Friday.    

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