Baltimore Evicts Nearly 7,000 People From Their Homes Every Year

According to a new study by the civil legal aid group Public Justice Center (PJC), those who face eviction proceedings are casualties of an economic crisis that has metastasized into a constitutional crisis.

News Story (Maryland)

Michelle Chen
Nation, The
December 14, 2015

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Rent Court, Research/Data


The analysis shows the pool of about 300 defendants—sampled from some 150,000 cases processed annually—was steadily “whittled down” through “pre-trial hallway resolutions,” in which landlords’ agents or court personnel steer people toward hallway meetings to “settle.” These informal negotiations keep about a third of renters out of court and ultimately accelerate evictions.

Out of 165 cases that went before a judge, “only 62 disputed the landlord’s claim.” In about half of those disputed claims, the judge tried to reroute them out of court by telling them to ‘“step out into the hallway” for more negotiations with landlords. Of 23 cases in which the tenant had a chance to complain about housing conditions, about two-thirds reported that “the judge disallowed explanation or a showing of evidence about the poor conditions.”