Ms. Lin recently came to our office for assistance after receiving an Eviction notice for non-payment of rent. After speaking with the client, we discovered that there was also a default judgment filed against her because she failed to file an Answer to the original Eviction.
With a judgment already entered, our client only had a few days to move before the Sheriff was scheduled to kick her out. Making matters even worse, because there was now an Eviction on her record, Housing Authority decided to terminate her Section 8 voucher. Without her Section 8 voucher, it was now impossible for our client to afford to move to a new unit.
After further investigation, we learned that our client is living with a mental disability which prevented her from filing an Answer. Armed with this new information, our office filed a Set Aside Default Judgment with the court. As long as our client could prove that her failure to file an Answer was due to her mental disability, the court would have the discretion to grant a reversal of the default judgment.
After filing the Set Aside Default Judgment, we eventually reached a settlement with opposing counsel whereby the Landlord would agree to dismiss the Eviction case and provide our client an extension of time in which to move to a different unit. This provided our client with a more reasonable amount of time in which to search for an alternate unit.
We then scheduled an informal hearing with Housing Authority to appeal their decision to terminate our client’s Section 8 voucher. During the informal hearing, we argued that our client should be able to retain her Section 8 voucher since the original Eviction was actually dismissed. After the informal hearing, the hearing officer found in our client’s favor and ruled to return our client’s Section 8 voucher. Our client has recently found a new place to live with her new Section 8 voucher.
All names used in this post are fictional to protect the identities of our clients.