Claim: The plaintiff—a participant in the Housing Choice Voucher program—was found to be in violation of her lease after she made multiple violent threats against other tenants. The plaintiff’s landlord filed an unlawful detainer action resulting in the plaintiff being evicted. The housing authority held a pre-termination meeting with the plaintiff and found her to be in violation of her participant obligations due to the lease violations and failure to provide the housing authority with copies of her eviction notices. A notice proposed termination of section 8 assistance was subsequently filed, and a formal grievance hearing occurred. The hearing officer issued a written termination decision that the housing authority’s executive director affirmed.
Details: The plaintiff filed a writ of mandate on the basis that the housing authority did not provide her with adequate notice prior to the termination of her benefits. The housing authority argued that the plaintiff was afforded a hearing and that the termination proceedings were proper. The state superior court granted the writ of mandate, and the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court alleging federal violations of due process. The housing authority appealed the state court decision that granted the plaintiff’s writ of mandate, and the decision was ultimately reversed. The plaintiff appealed to the state supreme court, and her petition for review was denied. Once the writ of mandate was fully adjudicated, counsel for the housing authority filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff’s claims were barred under the doctrine of Res Judicata, a legal principle that a cause of action may not be relitigated once it has already been judged on the merits.
Outcome: HAI Group successfully defended the state and federal claims, and the housing authority was dismissed from the matter. A bill of costs was filed to recover costs of suit from the plaintiff and is still pending.