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from Patch: Lakewood Considers ‘Right To Counsel’ For Eviction Cases

Posted April 4, 2022
10:17 am

Chris Mosby, Patch Staff

LAKEWOOD, OH — Lakewood City Council will consider legislation Monday giving residents facing eviction a right to legal counsel.

The proposal is being brought forward by Council President Daniel O'Malley and Councilperson Tristan Rader. Council will consider the legislation during Monday's meeting.

The legislation would specifically impact Lakewood seniors and residents who have a disability, as well as individuals and families living at or below 200 percent of poverty, Rader told Patch. The legislation is based on Cleveland's Right to Counsel law.

"Lakewood residents are frequently evicted by landlords represented by competent counsel and access to counsel in eviction cases requires special protections for tenants to secure equality in the decision-making process. The lack of legal counsel for tenants during eviction cases is a violation of a basic human rights," O'Malley and Rader said in a letter to their peers on council.

Rader and O'Malley also said they have met with officials from Lakewood Municipal Court to discuss how their proposal could be implemented. They also worked with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland on developing the legislation.

Rader estimated that approximately 600 eviction cases could be filed in Lakewood in 2022, and nearly half would qualify for legal assistance under the proposed legislation.

"We have proposed that ARPA dollars be used to fund the program, while we seek sustainable funding sources, as has been done in other places around the country," Rader said.


Original story can be found at Patch: Lakewood Considers 'Right To Counsel' For Eviction Cases | Lakewood, OH Patch

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