New Web Tool Aims To Help Mass. Eviction Defendants Without Lawyers

The nonprofit Greater Boston Legal Services says it's now trying to “level the playing field” with the release of a web tool to help give legal guidance to people facing eviction.

News Story (Massachusetts)

Simón Rios
WBUR-FM (local NPR, Boston)
July 31, 2019
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Tags: Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS)


DETAILS

“It helps them with the very basics,” said Quinten Steenhuis, an attorney at GBLS and creator of the online tool, “which is filling out paperwork that they can use to lay out their case and to explain to the judge, and to the other side, why they should not be evicted.”

There is a 25% default rate in eviction cases, according to Steenhuis. The free tool, MADE: Massachusetts Defense for Eviction, can change that, he said, by reminding people of court dates and assisting them with legal forms.

MADE asks a series of questions about a person’s eviction case. From start to finish, the process takes anywhere from 25 to 90 minutes. It begins with a video that explains how landlords must take tenants to court to remove them. Then, questions are asked, including ones about court dates and whether the user wants a jury trial.