Wednesday, January 04, 2006

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!


At 7:15 PM, Blogger Alan A. said...

That's great. I heard from the Executive Director of the Homeless Coalition that they will be working with FAMU law school to assist clients. It is great to hear that FAMU law school will impact our community in other ways through pro bono work on housing / landlord / tenant issues.

Alan A.

At 11:29 PM, Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

Actually, we started working with the Coalition for the Homeless last semester, and we'll continue that work. We have some great success stories ... and I need to share more of those stories!


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