PUBLISHED:October 05, 2016

Civil Justice Clinic helps client avoid eviction, recover damages from landlord

In late September the Duke Civil Justice Clinic successfully assisted a client in avoiding eviction, maintaining her valuable federal housing voucher, and recovering damages from her landlord for multiple housing deficiencies.

Cory Fleming ’17 represented the client in a trial before a Durham County civil magistrate to defend against eviction claims for non-payment of rent and to prosecute counterclaims for damages arising out of failed heating and air conditioning and insect infestation. The magistrate entered a judgment reducing the rent owed by the client by more than 50 percent, eliminating certain late charges that the landlord illegally imposed, and denying the eviction.

“Had the eviction been successful, our client would have likely lost her ‘Section 8’ housing voucher, which is worth many thousands of dollars in future rent payments,” said Clinical Professor Charles Holton ’73 who directs the clinic. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing choice voucher program — Section 8 — provides assistance to very low-income families to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing. “Our client was highly satisfied with and most appreciative of the result.”