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Eviction Court Refoms

Changing the ways in which evictions are handled can make a difference for families
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Eviction Court reforms could include
  • Create a Housing Court with a single judge to hear housing issues.
  • Improve Pro se (self help) procedures and materials for tenants.
  • Offer Pre hearing Mediation
  • Permit In-Court counseling and advocacy by private organizations.

 What's Happening
July 14, 2017 Study will explore Franklin County’s high eviction rate
Rita Price in the Columbus Dispatch reports on a new eviction study. "Through face-to-face interviews, field observation and data collection, a new research project aims to dig into the reasons behind Franklin County’s alarmingly high rate of eviction. 'We teach our students that before you run to solutions, you have to understand the problem,' said Trevor Brown, dean of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. 'Why is it that so many individuals and families are being asked to leave their homes and places of shelter?' The city of Columbus, Franklin County and OSU announced the commission of the study Thursday at the Glenn College, where graduate students are to lead the research as part of their studies. Franklin County has the state’s busiest eviction court, with nearly 18,000 cases filed each year. It’s not unusual for a magistrate to handle 130 or more cases before noon on a weekday in Courtroom 11A at Franklin County Municipal Court." More from the article "Eviction 'is a crippling reality that my partners and I would like to analyze and comprehend,' City Councilwoman Jaiza Page said. 'This study isn’t an indictment of anyone. It is a chance to come together.' ”

Interesting discussion about housing courts in Cincinnati Enquirer
Opinion: Hamilton Co. needs housing court. Aftab Pureval is an attorney in Cincinnati and the Democratic candidate for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. Here's his take on a specialized housing court. "Right now, tenants who live in sub-human housing, in squalor, with conditions ranging from roofs that collapse to infestation of bugs to no working plumbing, have no way to get themselves and their children out of these conditions. Most can’t afford to sue their landlords, and even those who can are forced to wait years for a verdict and must keep living in these places in the interim. Forcing people to live in this kind of inhumane poverty impacts more than just the tenants. It impacts all of us. Bad housing leads to crime: Of the 4,740 properties with a building code violation, more than 1,200 had reported some kind of violent crime, including burglary and homicide. The conditions for those who live in these properties continues a cycle of poverty and hopelessness that we need to correct in Hamilton County, where we rank second in the nation for childhood poverty. We need to do better."
In a response to Attorney Pureval, Brad Greenberg, a Hamilton County Municipal Court judge, wrote: "Actually, Hamilton County has a housing court, and I am the housing court judge. Housing court is held every Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Room 164 of the Hamilton County Courthouse. Hamilton County’s housing court started in 2003 and continues without interruption. I am the third different judge to preside. Although it is not a full-time court, the housing court has a busy docket. In 2015 alone, housing court heard 1,161 cases. The types of cases in housing court are building and zoning violations that affect the health and safety of the public. Many cases involve abandoned property that attracts crime. In these cases, the goal is to make the property safe and secure or to demolish the structure. Last year, an absentee landlord who owned property in Walnut Hills was sent to jail for refusing to comply with either option."
Then, offer your opinion to Should Cincinnati have a full time housing court that includes landlord tenant complaints?

posted May 9, 2016

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