E-Alerts & Press Releases

PJC Persuades Circuit Court to Reduce Outrageous Appeal Bond for Tenant

PJC attorney Francine Hahn is representing a client in an appeal of a failure to pay rent and rent escrow case. This is a test case of the enforcement ofHB 1425, which went into effect on October 1, 2004 and requires that the landlord certify their compliance with the lead paint laws before being able to use the rent court for evictions.The landlord’s complaint for unpaid rent did not so certify, but the judge denied the PJC’s motion to dismiss the case, and the court did not allow the tenant to include her claim for rent escrow, which prompted this appeal.To add insult to injury, the district court judge then set the appeal bond at $10,000 even though the judgment amount is only $2,750. Such an appeal bond that greatly exceeds the amount in controversy has the effect of denying tenants their right to appeal on the merits.In this case, the PJC also appealed the setting of the appeal bond to the circuit court.On February 24, 2005, the circuit court judge reduced the bond to $4,500.The client is a member of ACORN, and ACORN has agreed to pay $3,500, and the client will pay $1,000 of the bond. With this bond, the PJC can now proceed to challenge the court’s refusal to enforce the lead paint laws.

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