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Can a landlord evict a legally disabled person in winter?

Minooka, IL |

My aunt is legally disabled and has been suing her mobile home community due to the home not being up to code when purchased. Since the begining of the lawsuit, she has been putting her rent into a savings account and sending receipts to the community, and has now received a judgement (from the community's lawyers) that was not stamped by the court clerk stating that she lost her suit and an eviction notice from the sheriff's department giving her 24 hours to vacate. Is it legal for them to evict her in winter, being legally disabled?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. If you still can, (if there's still time) you and your aunt should go to the courthouse immediately, to whatever court handles the eviction calendar, and request that the judge "stay the writ of restitution" (stay the eviction). You might have defense: Though you should have kept the rent in a trust account probably, not her savings account, the rent was still accounted for....make sure you bring copies of receipts and copies of anything else! Without knowing the laws of your state, I cannot guess your chance of success, but its worth a shot....remember, you are trying to "stay the writ;" make sure the judge hears the whole story about the ongoing suit...

    You should also know about the Fair Housing Act, which applies to ALL States. 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 - 3619. The Act addresses what is called a "reasonable accomodation:" The Act makes it unlawful to refuse to make "reasonable accommodations" to rules, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use their dwelling. You might not be able to assert a reasonable accomodation to halt the eviction, but you should be aware of the FHA nonetheless.

  2. First of all, check the case history either on the court house website or at the court house in the clerk's office to find out whether a default judgment was entered against your aunt. If so, you may file a motion to vacate the default judgment within 30 days of its entry. If it has been more than 30 days, you may file a petition for relief from judgment, but that is a more difficult motion for a lay person to bring. In that event, you may wish to hire an attorney. If you don't think that that your aunt received proper notice of the eviction, and then she may have grounds to vacate the judgment based upon lack of service. As the other attorney mentioned you may always ask the court to stay the eviction due to the circumstances of your case. If not, in the wintertime the sheriff will traditionally be more lenient in allowing people time to find another place to live before evicting them. You give you an idea of how much time you have, normally you may ask the Sheriff for more time the first time that he comes by. The second time the Sherriff comes by you may have to leave when asked by him, depending.

    The information in this answer is not intended as legal advice nor do I intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader simply by answering this question or contributing as a member of AVVO.

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