Peach swears she concealed home ownership to hide from abusive boyfriend

Steve Korris Sep. 15, 2005, 1:38am

9 Briarcliff Dr. in Granite City

Armettia Peach, who sued to recover the cost of a Granite City home she apparently did not buy, has sworn that she concealed her ownership of the home to hide from a former boyfriend.

In an Aug. 16 affidavit, Peach stated that a Granite City detective advised her to have the home at 9 Briarcliff Drive titled in the name of an acquaintance.

The affidavit claims she underwent surgery July 13, 2002, for injuries that former boyfriend David Sorenson inflicted. And on Aug. 18, 2002, she required emergency surgery for more injuries he inflicted.

County records show that Chad Carpenter bought the property from Kevin Link for $68,900. According to Peach’s affidavit, however, the home belonged to her.

“I paid Kevin Link approximately $70,000 of my money for the house and property,” Peach stated. Link has stated that Peach gave him $20,000 in $100 bills as a downpayment weeks before the closing.

In the recent affidavit, Peach stated that she became aware through a newspaper that 9 Briarcliff Drive was for sale--on Aug. 27, 2002.

But, apparently she mixed up dates in the affidavit.

Link sold the house Aug. 13, 2002.

Later that autumn, Peach became more entwined in Madison County's legal system, and so did Carpenter.

Represented by the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River, Peach filed a class action lawsuit against CIM Insurance on Sept. 5, 2002.

Also represented by the Lakin firm, Carpenter filed a class action lawsuit Sept. 11, 2002, against Nissan Motor Acceptance.

Both matters are pending.

Peach, Sorenson and 9 Briarcliffe

Peach's plan to avoid Sorenson did not work. He tried to push her into traffic on Madison Avenue on New Year’s Day 2003, according to a petition she filed for a protective order.

She obtained a protective order Jan. 24, 2003, for a year.

On March 13, 2003, Carpenter transferred the title for 9 Briarcliff Drive to Peach on a quit claim deed, with no money changing hands.

In her affidavit, she stated that she put the title in her name because Sorenson had learned her address anyway.

On March 10, 2004, Peach sued Link and David Lambert, who had helped Link remodel the home. She charged that they performed cosmetic repairs that hid defects.

Water leaked through the roof and damaged the home, she claimed.

Peach also sued Granite City, charging that it should not have issued an occupancy permit.

Link and Lambert responded to the suit, but Granite City did not. Peach dismissed Lambert, conditionally dismissed Link and sought default judgment against Granite City.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian granted default judgment July 1, 2004. He ruled that the property cost $70,000, and repairs cost $8,242.50.

Matoesian awarded $26,016.67 to Peach’s attorney, Thomas Maag of the Lakin Law Firm, bringing the judgment to $104,259.17.

Peach filed for another protective order against Sorenson on Aug. 18, 2004. She claimed that one day he drove around a parking lot where she was, and the next day he followed her when she left her job.

Her petition did not state her address, noting that disclosure would risk further abuse. For service of notice she gave the address of the Lakin firm.

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