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NCJ Number: 64343 Find in a Library
Title: HOUSING JUSTICE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
United States of America

American Bar Assoc
Division of Public Services Activities
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20036
American Bar Assoc.
Washington, DC 20036
National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Science Foundation
Washington, DC 20550
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
Washington, DC 20410-3000
Grant Number: APR.75-07905
Contract Number: H-2856
Sale Source: American Bar Assoc.
1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SUMMARIZING FROM THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION-DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT BOOK, 'HOUSING JUSTICE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURTS,' THIS PRESENTATION EVALUATES THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS AS APPLIED TO HOUSING ISSUES.
Abstract: THE USE OF SMALL CLAIMS COURTS IN THIS COUNTRY IS WIDESPREAD, WITH 42 STATES CURRENTLY USING THEM FOR THE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES, INCLUDING THOSE FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF HOUSING-RELATED MATTERS. THESE COURTS REPRESENT A SPECIAL AND SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE PROVIDED UNDER STATUTE TO GOVERN ADJUDICATION OF A SPECIFIED RANGE OF SMALLER CIVIL DISPUTES, GENERALLY INVOLVING MONETARY DAMAGES AVERAGING LESS THAN $600 NATIONWIDE. DATA FOR A STUDY ABOUT THESE COURTS WERE OBTAINED FROM AN EXAMINATION OF 15 SMALL CLAIMS COURTS, IN EACH OF WHICH 500 CASES WERE RANDOMLY SELECTED FOR EVALUATION FROM THE 1975 COURT CASELOADS. DETAILED QUESTIONNAIRES WERE SENT TO EACH PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT IN THE DATABASE. THIS PROCEDURE PRODUCED A FINAL DATABASE OF 7,218 CASES FROM THE 15 COURTS. EXCLUDED FROM HOUSING-RELATED DISPUTES UTILIZING SMALL CLAIMS COURTS WERE EVICTION ACTIONS AND HOUSING, SAFETY, AND BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS WHICH ARE HANDLED IN LOCAL COURTS, CRIMINAL COURTS, AND BY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES, DEPENDING UPON THE NATURE OF THE CASE. APPROXIMATELY 12 PERCENT OF THE CASES INVOLVED LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES. OTHER TYPES OF DISPUTES INCLUDED TENANT RENT STRIKES, ACTIONS BY TENANTS FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM DEFECTIVE PREMISES, BAD CHECKS, AND DISPUTES BETWEEN COTENANTS. OF THE TOTAL PLAINTIFFS IN THIS CASE SAMPLE, 42 PERCENT WERE INDIVIDUALS, 33 PERCENT WERE NONCORPORATE BUSINESSES, 23 PERCENT WERE CORPORATIONS, AND 2 PERCENT WERE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES. IN LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES, 76 PERCENT OF THE PLAINTIFFS WERE INDIVIDUALS. TENANTS MORE OFTEN DID NOT SUCCEED WHEN THEY USED AN ATTORNEY AT TRIAL; LANDLORDS DID SLIGHTLY BETTER WHEN REPRESENTED BY AN ATTORNEY. PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED IN COLLECTING SMALL CLAIMS JUDGMENTS WERE REPORTED BY BOTH LANDLORDS AND TENANTS. TABULAR DATA ARE INCLUDED IN THE SUMMARY. (LWM)
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Landlord-tenant courts; Small claims courts; Studies; Summaries; US Department of Housing and Urban Development
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