Homelessness

Section 8 (housing voucher) tenants cannot be evicted without cause even if their lease term has expired and the landlord has opted out of the housing assistance program

The Third Circuit has ruled that the federal statute, 42 U.S.C. §1437f(t)(1)(B), that gives Section 8 (housing voucher) tenants the right to "remain in their housing developments, even after their landlord has opted out of the federal housing assistance program," gives them the right to stay unless just cause can be shown to evict have the right to remain even if the lease term has expired. Hayes v. Harvey, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24848 (3d... Read more about Section 8 (housing voucher) tenants cannot be evicted without cause even if their lease term has expired and the landlord has opted out of the housing assistance program

Sex offender cannot be evicted from state-subsidized housing because of regulatory limitation imposed after the lease began

The Connecticut Supreme Court has held that a registered sex offender cannot be evicted from housing subisidized by the state when he obtained the subsidy and the housing before passage of the state law banning such assistance. Shannon v. Comm'r of Housing, 140 A.3d 903 (Conn. 2016) (see dissenting opinion...

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Homeless persons may raise defense of necessity to criminal trespass charges when entering property in winter to escape bitter cold

In Commonwealth v. Magadini, Commonwealth v. Magadini, 2015 WL 11070269 (Mass. 2016), the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a homeless man who repeatedly entered private property in winter time to escape the cold was entitled to try to convince the jury that necessity justified the entries. David Magadini was homeless and was arrested and...

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Local sex offender law violates state regulatory provisions

Like other cities, the City of Lynn in Massachusetts sought to regulate where sex offenders live. It prohibited certain sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school or park and defined "school" to include all public, private, and church schools. The effect of the ordinance was to prevent sex offenders from spending a night in ninety-five percent of the city, including in a shelter or half-way house designated for sex offenders. The Supreme Judicial Court struck down the local ordinance as exceeding the scope of local government powers because it was inconsistent with state...

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Sex offender residency law struck down as unconstitutional by California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court has struck down a voter initiative that barred all sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of schools and parks. In re Taylor, 83 U.S.L.W. 1299, 2015 BL 54822 (Cal. 2015). The court held that the ban deprived sex offenders of liberty without due process of law because it rendered many sex offenders homeless and was not reasonably related to government interests in protecting children. Because 97 percent of the county was off limits to sex offenders, many had no...

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