Appeal Court Rules Tenants Can’t be Evicted Without Just Cause

By Lynda Carson

A recent California Court of Appeal victory for a 70-year-old disabled tenant activist named Sharon Green who was evicted from her home could have an impact on similar evictions throughout California.

“The California Court of Appeal for the Second District held that constitutional due process applies to an eviction from a housing unit supported by a redevelopment agency, prohibiting the tenant’s eviction without good cause,” according to the National Housing Law Project.

In other words, landlords in California cannot evict renters residing in publicly subsidized housing that is funded by local governments, without a good cause, according to a unanimous ruling from the California Court of Appeal.

The court ruling reversed an eviction against Sharon Green, who believed that her eviction was done in retaliation for exercising her protected rights of free speech, freedom of association and her right to petition the government.

Green originally moved into the 157-unit Heritage Oaks Senior Apartments in Glendora in 2007. In 2009, she opposed a 90-Day Notice to Quit, a notice that did not give a reason for the eviction.

She lost the case in court, but she appealed because believed that she could not be evicted without a good cause.

After being thrown out of her home two years ago, she has lived in a tent at times, and sometimes in an old trailer at different campgrounds.

“My cat and I have survived rain, snow, lightening and extreme cold,” she said. “Everyday is a struggle with the elements, or the predators and insects. We both just want to go home.”

This ruling may affect over 150,000 rental units receiving subsidies by local governments throughout the state.

“This ruling is significant because it requires private landlords receiving local, public money to give very-low and low-income families the stability they need to get jobs and raise their families,” said Maria Palomares of Neighborhood Legal Services, who argued the case on behalf of the legal aid groups.

“It extends critical protections to tenants of city-subsidized housing.”