Metropolitan Maryland Office
Recently, Staff Attorney Chris Freeman from Maryland Legal Aid's Metropolitan Maryland Office won a housing case for his client, Ms. S.
Ms. S. received subsidized housing through the Prince George's County Housing Authority. In April, Ms. S. reported a structural issue in her apartment to the County's Housing Inspector. The Inspector found the issue unsafe and ordered the landlord to fix it; the County would abate rent and not pay its portion until the repair was completed. The landlord did not repair the issue for several months, so the County stopped paying its portion of rent for the months that the issue went unaddressed. Eventually, the landlord fixed the issue and the County began making rent payments again.
The landlord then sued Ms. S. for the time the County abated rent. Chris filed a motion to dismiss by referring to the Code of Federal Regulations, which specifically forbids this type of lawsuit. Additionally, the standard Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contract also specifically forbids law suits for non-payments by a Housing Authority. In court, the Judge dismissed the case and the opposing counsel relented, agreed to the dismissal, and further promised that his staff would be educated on how these types of lawsuits are not appropriate in the future.
Baltimore City Domestic Law Unit
Staff Attorney Julianne Kelly from the Baltimore City Domestic Law Unit assisted a client in a child custody case.
Julianne's client is a 16-year old mother of a young child. The mother had been abused by the child's father, who is affiliated with the Black Guerilla Family gang.
At one point the child had been kidnapped by his father. With Julianne's assistance, the client was awarded sole physical custody, sole legal custody, injunctive relief to protect her from the father's abuse, and child support. In addition, the father was granted supervised visitation. The client was so happy and grateful for Julianne's support that she sent her a coffee mug and card that read:
I want to thank you for all of your help! I can't thank you enough!