WSVN — His daughter was sent to Afghanistan. He wanted to surprise her and replace a couple of windows and a door. But the city wanted her to pull the permit, and when she sent power of attorney from Afghanistan to let her father pull a permit, the city again said no to the soldier. Is that legal to do to a servicewoman sent to fight to her country? It’s why her dad called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to help them out.

Like every parent, Mike Casey loves his daughter, and wanted to help her out.

Mike Casey: “I bought the house for her so she would not have a lot of bills.”

Mike bought the property for Amanda in 2009 and put it in both their names.

Mike Casey: “Yes, it was a fixer upper. It was one of the worst-looking houses in the neighborhood at the time.”

Amanda is in the Army, and when she was sent to Afghanistan, Mike decided to replace two windows and a door on her house. The City of Tamarac stopped him.

Mike Casey: “The red tag saying I needed to get a building permit for the work that I did.”

Mike went to get the permit, but he says at city hall he was told, since he didn’t live at that address, Amanda had to pull the permit.

Mike Casey: ‘At the time, she was serving our country in Afghanistan. It was a little hard to get that from overseas.”

Mike was told he needed to get power of attorney from amanda in Afghanistan. She had two drawn up by a military attorney, one to sell the house and the other to manage the property. Mike says he showed them both to the Tamarac Building Department.

Mike Casey: “And she comes back and tells me that they won’t accept the power of attorney.”

Mike was told the power of attorney form did not specifically mention he could pull a permit, stunning him.

Mike Casey: “I have power of attorney of real estate, power of attorney to sell the home. Now I gotta get a separate power of attorney to acquire a building permit. It’s just ridiculous.”

Mike says it then got worse. The city slapped a notice on his door telling him he needed to appear in court, because…

Mike Casey: “For not getting a building permit.”

Amanda is fighting for the United States of America. Her father is fighting Tamarac, and fed up.

Mike Casey: “All this stuff they’re doing to my daughter, you know, serving her country and everything, all the stress they put her through with this crap. For the City of Tamarac, it’s crazy.”

Well, Howard, is it legal for a government agency to refuse to accept a power of attorney letter from a soldier fighting overseas?

Howard Finkelstein: “It depends on the language in the power of attorney. We’ve read both documents. One only lets Mike sell the house, but the other clearly allows him to manage the property, meaning he can a pull a permit to fix it up. The city needs to approve it.”

We contacted the City of Tamarac. They looked into the power of attorney problem, and a spokesperson told us there was miscommunication between the Building Department and Mike Casey.

They then reviewed it again, talked to Amanda, and the city did what Mike was asking. They accepted the power of attorney letter and gave Mike the permit to do the work he wanted to do.

Mike Casey: “Oh, I’m very thrilled with Howard.”

Mike got his permit, and now, while is daughter is away, he can fix up her house.

Mike Casey: “Help Me Howard did me right. I mean, my daughter and I would really like to thank Help Me Howard for addressing the situation with the City of Tamarac.”

Glad it worked out for Mike and Amanda. Now, if you get turned down at a government agency like Mike did, first ask to speak to a supervisor. If that doesn’t straighten things out, if it’s an issue like Mike had, ask to speak to their attorney. Otherwise, go to the city or county manager’s office. If its a business that won’t listen, go talk to the owner. But no matter what you do, don’t give up, and if nothing works out, call us.

Battling a problem you can’t fix up? Need the power of an attorney? Permit us to help. We don’t do windows and doors, but we can open up the entrance to a solution.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

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Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
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