On January 20, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued its mandate in Smith v. Greenway Apartments, No. 15-CV-954, an important case Legal Aid had handled at the trial and appellate stages that clarifies when a tenant can make a claim against a landlord alleging housing code violations.
This appeal involved an eviction action alleging nonpayment of rent in January 2015. The landlord’s latest complaint was just one in a series of eviction actions it had filed against Ms. Smith, without success. One of those earlier actions alleged nonpayment of rent during two months in 2012 and was resolved through a consent judgment. Another such action alleged nonpayment of rent during two months in 2013 and was resolved through a judgment by confession. Ms. Smith, like the vast majority of tenants in D.C., did not have counsel in these earlier cases. Read more →