Q: My niece and her baby were removed by the sherriff from her house yesterday because of a eviction judgement by default.
She got a 72 hour notice Dec 10,2020. She spoke to her landlord and he agreed to give her until Feb.1, 2020. She got that in writing. Yesterday Dec 21,2020 the sherriff office evicted her. The paperwork said she had to contact the landlord to get her possessions. However the deputies would not allow her to contact her landlord who lives on the same property behind her. They say his son has power if attorney and is in charge . The judgement from the courts doesnt state anything about the landlords son being in charge. He has an 8 month old baby and was allowed to quickly grab clothes and diapers for him. We desperately need advice on how to help her.
A: Most, if not all, 72 hr notices are banned during Covid and the very issuance likely is unlawful. Further, it is unlikely that any court should have granted the relief sought, though your niece was obligated to show up in court. Doing so likely would have avoided the whole issue. Your niece simply needs to talk with a local landlord-tenant attorney. Perhaps the Judgment against her can be dismissed, allowing her to return to the property. Perhaps a deal can be struck with the ex-landlord (or his son) once they understand that your niece likely has grounds to sue the landlord for damages; perhaps she just needs to proceed with suing the landlord now for her damages, plus statutory damages, plus court costs, plus her attorney's fees. These are just the most obvious possibilities, there likely are more. But they need to each be carefully evaluated against the exact facts of her case before anyone can know whether they are possible solutions or even if they are desirable as well. Talk to a local attorney - this is NOT a do-it-yourself project if she expects to prevail. Good luck.
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