San Francisco employment associate Ashley Mangus successfully staved off eviction at the last moment for an elderly client who is both physically and mentally disabled. This case was part of a limited scope project that was started last year by the Volunteer Legal Services Program (VSLP) of the SF Bar to help low-income clients vacate default judgments in housing cases.
Ashley, with the assistance of summer associates Matthew Prewitt and Daniel Justice, was successful in gaining a stay of eviction, and at the next hearing, successfully argued to have the default judgment vacated. VLSP's homeless advocacy project will likely represent the client going forward as he has very strong defenses to the eviction case.
Ashley commented that "prepping the client for the motion to vacate hearing was incredibly emotional as he was facing the reality that he would either be granted the ability to stay in his housing and substantively reply to the unlawful detainer—equipped with several solid affirmative defenses—or he would be evicted the very next day. The best part about the experience was going to the sheriff's office after our motion to vacate was granted and watching the clerk remove my client's name from the eviction list. This case also provided me with the incredible opportunity to argue a motion in court and also attempt to negotiate an amicable resolution with the adversary."
Anyone in the Bay Area interested in participating in VLSP's limited scope motion to vacate project—which provides essential services to low-income clients and also gives attorneys excellent professional development opportunities—should contact pro bono counsel Rene Kathawala.