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Terrace v. Hilliard

Other Lower Courts

February 11, 2008

Andrews Terrace, Petitioner,
v.
Alesia Hilliard, Respondent.

Editorial Note:

This case is not published in a printed volume and its disposition appears in a table in the reporter.

COUNSEL

Ernest Santoro, Esq., for petitioner.

Monroe County Legal Assistance Center (Robert Vitale, Esq., of counsel), for respondent.

OPINION

Ellen M. Yacknin, J.

Petitioner Andrews Terrace Apartments seeks to evict respondent Alesia Hilliard from her apartment. Petitioner claims that respondent violated the terms of her lease by failing to keep her apartment neat and orderly, thereby threatening the health and safety of petitioner's tenants. Respondent denies the allegations, and denies that she has breached her lease.

A bench trial was held on January 28, 2008. Beth Hartman, the property manager for Andrews Terrace, Richard Gladding, an employee of Andrews Terrace, and Donna Burns, a security officer at Andrews Terrace, testified for petitioner. Respondent Alesia Hilliard, Adeline Hilliard, respondent's mother, and Donna Jean Koehler, respondent's friend, testified for respondent.

I find that the testimony of Beth Hartman and Donna Burns is credible. I find that the testimony of the other witnesses is partly credible, and partly not credible. Based on the credible testimony and documentary evidence, I make the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

FINDINGS OF FACT

Alesia Hilliard, who has lived in Andrews Terrace for twenty-six years, resides in her apartment with her eleven year old son. Ms. Hilliard is legally blind and has a number of other physical impairments that are so disabling that an home health aide attends to Ms. Hilliard five days a week.

Sometime in 2005, Andrews Terrace conducted its annual inspection of Ms. Hilliard's apartment. The apartment failed the inspection. After Ms. Hilliard cleaned the apartment, it passed reinspection and Ms. Hilliard's lease was renewed. On October 11, 2006, Andrews Terrace conducted another annual inspection of Ms. Hilliard's apartment. That inspection found that Ms. Hilliard's apartment was so filled with clutter, objects, and boxes that it created a safety and fire hazard. Andrews Terrace told Ms. Hilliard that she would not be permitted to stay unless she cleaned her apartment so that it was in compliance with her lease obligations.

Ms. Hilliard's apartment was reinspected for compliance on October 26, 2006. At that time, Ms. Hilliard's apartment passed the inspection, and Ms. Hilliard was permitted to stay in her apartment. She specifically agreed, however, to maintain her apartment in a clean and orderly condition as a condition of remaining a tenant.

In June 2007, Andrews Terrace began a major renovation project for all the apartments. Tenant meetings were held to discuss the renovations and what would be required of tenants to enable the apartments to be renovated, and tenants were sent written notices of the renovation and packing schedule. Tenants were advised that they would have to box their belongings and move their boxes to another location as necessary. Tenants were also advised in writing that if they needed help to pack or move their belongings, help would be provided. Thirty days before work was to begin in ...


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