Quick Action Saves Client from Assault and Illegal Eviction

During the holidays, Inner City Law Center received an emergency call. A young man named Eddie* was desperate. He had been kicked out of his apartment, and had been physically assaulted in the process. He couldn’t even afford a hotel room. He needed help, and he needed it right away.

Eddie has a severely weakened immune system. The coronavirus is a serious threat to his health, and it isn’t safe for him to go out to work. Like so many others without jobs or other ways to pay their bills, he fell behind on his rent. He exhausted his savings to pay the rent he owed, but still, Eddie’s landlord tried to illegally force him out.

First, a new tenant showed up and tried to move into Eddie’s unit. Then the landlord brought in a locksmith to change the lock — while Eddie was inside! When Eddie tried to call 911 for help, another man entered Eddie’s home, assaulted him and threw his belongings into the hallway.

Our attorney arrived on Eddie’s doorstep minutes after he called. Our attorney called the police to file a report for battery and an illegal lockout. We paid for a second locksmith to install yet another lock, and police officers stood by until Eddie was safe inside his home once again.

By midnight, Inner City Law Center had filed restraining orders against both the landlord and the man who had assaulted Eddie.

State law protects individuals like Eddie from eviction during the COVID pandemic, but it takes lawyers to make sure landlords abide by those rights. Eddie was terrified that he would end up on the streets, with nowhere else to go. ICLC connected Eddie to social service providers to help him secure new housing away from his abusive landlord.

*Name changed to protect identity of client