Housing Authority Can Evict Resident for Drug-Related Activities
Facts: A local housing authority filed a lawsuit to evict a resident for violating the terms of her lease and federal law due to two incidents of drug-related or criminal activity in her unit. The first incident occurred in November 2009 when officers saw a man standing outside the resident's building. The man tried to get away from the officers and ran into the building. Three officers chased him up the stairs to the resident's unit on the third floor. When the officers knocked on the resident's door, the resident lied to them and told them that the man wasn't in her unit. But the resident consented to the officers searching her unit, and they found the man hiding in a closet, with marijuana in his pocket.
The second incident occurred at an investigative follow-up to the first incident. A young man opened the door to the resident's unit and slammed the door in the officers' faces when he saw who it was. The man then jumped out of the resident's window. And an officer testified that another man was sitting on the resident's couch and had marijuana in his pocket.
The resident appealed her eviction on the grounds that she didn't know the men possessed small quantities of marijuana and for one of the instances she did authorize the man to be present in her unit.
Ruling: An Ohio appeals court agreed with the lower court's decision to allow the resident to be evicted.
Reasoning: The court found that with respect to the first incident, a police officer testified that the resident lied to officers, telling them that a man whom the officers were pursuing wasn't in her unit. Although the resident testified that she didn't lie to the police, the trial court judge clearly believed the officers. As for the second incident, two days after the first, the resident permitted two men to use her unit. Marijuana was found on the man who remained. So the trial court had competent, credible evidence before it to grant the housing authority the resident's unit.
- Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority v. Davis, December 2011