A Capitol Hill activist recently sent around this useful information:
Recently I attempted to help a neighbor fight an eviction. We are hopeful that we will be successful.
Given the rapid displacement of our neighbors, especially those with limited resources, perhaps you might soon find yourself with a neighbor who needs some help. If you know attorneys who might be willing to do pro bono work in this area, it would be nice to have some neighborhood referral resources for this.
I have compiled the below action steps and resources. This is not legal advice. I am not an attorney. And perhaps someone else knows a better process. But this is what I found to be most helpful and what I learned through my research and meetings with my neighbor and our meetings with advocates.
- Ask if the resident is willing to share their eviction papers, lease, and any other correspondence / notices. Make extra copies for the resident (and for yourself, with permission) so that as you both meet with folks, you can share / mark them up. Scan clean copies so that they are email-able to attorneys who want to review the documents in order to decide if they are willing to take the case.
- Read the relevant sections of the “tenant rights handbook” and the “eviction response packet” together (see below).The most important thing to do is meet any deadlines with the appropriate legal forms.
- Assess wether there are options for private legal representation (perhaps the resident’s friends or family might help)
- Explore public options. My first stop would be the Northwest Justice Project at the courthouse downtown: 3rd floor. Arrive at 7:45 and put your name on the clipboard for a consultation. The link below tells what paperwork to bring to this meeting. The person being evicted must be present and willing to sign paperwork about income level in order to receive legal advice on the case.
- Help the resident decide whether they will respond to the eviction with attorney representation (private or public) or “pro se” if neither are possible. If pro se, use the legal documents in the “eviction response packet” as your guide. READ CAREFULLY AND MEET ALL DEADLINES WITH THE OPPOSING PARTY’S ATTORNEY AND WITH THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE
That is as far as I got with this neighbor, since an attorney has now taken her case. Hooray! Resources…
Housing Justice Project — free attorney consultation / representation www.kcba.org/pbs/HJP.aspx
Tenant rights handbook eviction on pages 15-19
Attorney General resource list for complaints about discrimination, low income housing, senior issues
Just Cause Eviction in Seattle–Tenant Information https://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/dpdd016420.pdf
Self-representation Pro Se http://www.courts.wa.gov/programs_orgs/pos_bja/ptc/documents/SuperiorCourtProSeLitigantInformation.pdf
Solid Ground (Fremont) Homelessness prevention programs and tenant services