A great start to 2006 ...A student attorney won a summary judgment against a landlord who had turned off our client’s electricity.
This was one of the Florida A&M College of Law Housing Clinic’s first cases; I believe it was the very first lawsuit the clinic filed.
In Florida, it is illegal for a landlord to turn off electricity, water, heat, lights or any other utility service or to change the locks. Read the statute here.
For the non-J.D.- impaired folks, a summary judgment means that the judge determines there is no dispute about the facts of a case and, therefore, no need to have a trial. The purpose of a trial is to have a jury evaluate conflicting evidence and then determine the facts.
The landlord admitted that he had turned off the electricity, so there was no dispute about the basic facts of our client’s claim.
A big win on the first business day of the year is a great way to start 2006!