TAKE BACK THE LAND DEFENSE & RALLY

WHAT: Rally for Bonita and Alan Williams
 
WHEN: Wednesday, July 3, Noon
 
WHERE: 310 State Street (landlord’s office)
BACKGROUND:
On Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM,
Ryan David Acuff <racuff@gmail.com> wrote:
It goes without saying that after we met Bonita and Alan Williams while canvassing tenants in foreclosure, they have stood up not just for their rights, but have joined the housing human rights movement and fought for everyone else.  Now their slumlord Christopher Thomas is trying to evict them.
Fast Background
  • Williams family have been tenants in the house since 2009
  • They want to buy the house and fix it up
  • Thomas hasn’t fixed up the property in years, include 30 code violations, squirrel infestation, flooding the basement, holes in the roof, etc.
  • despite receiving rent slumlord Christopher Thomas hasn’t paid the mortgage since May 2010
  • In February 2013, HSBC filed for foreclosure with Alan and Bonita caught in the middle
The Williams’ last-ditch negotiations on Thursday morning (with Alan and Bonita coming with 3 TBTL who had their back!) with Christopher Thomas ended up with him not budging.  The Williams family requested to enter into a 6 month lease where they would pay $850 a month. (Whether written or not, they would also force the landlord under new york law to make the repairs or not get the full agreed amount.)  However, he would only up the rent to $1000 a month.  No deal.
Under the court-ordered agreement, the eviction warrant would be stayed to June 30, which in effect means the earliest the landlord and marshal could remove them would be July 8.  However, the landlord (and possibly the court?) illegally accelerated the warrant delivering the 72 hour notice last evening at 5:30pm, which would make the first day they could be removed on the warrant being Friday, July 5.
Either way, we have other ideas.
The Sword  (community organizing and public pressure)
  • Today at 3pm for our Canvass (meeting at the Squirrel) we will be canvassing other tenants of their landlord and their immediate neighbors for support.  People and transportation is needed!  We are low on cars at the moment!
  • we have tentatively planned an informational picket outside the slumlord’s office at 310 State St., Rochester, NY (across the from the kodak building) maybe at 1:30pm.  We will finalize plans today and update.
  • Will probably be organizing a community call-in to the landlord starting Monday… stay tuned
  • Bonita and Alan will write letters to local politicians to intervene
  • we will put together fact sheets about the real christopher thomas, not the slick Christopher Thomas of http://new2uhomes.com/content/
  • Public Letter to HSBC asking them to file for receivership of the rent and enter into an agreement for them to buy the house after foreclosure
The Shield (Legal defenses to buy time)
  • Bonita will file an Order to Show Cause to vacate the early warrant of eviction on Monday in Rochester City Court (if all else fails, at least they should enter a new warrant on July 1 per the court settlement giving them more time)
  • Alan who is a tenant but did not appear before the judge at their May 6 hearing will file an order to show cause to vacate the judgement on grounds that he wasn’t personally served, wrong party filed the action, wrong amount of rent is claimed (since the landlord did not make necessary repairs)
  • Bonita will file a Notice of Appeal and Application of a Stay on Eviction with Monroe County Court on Monday.  This is because her Order to Show cause was denied on Friday (it was denied because even though she might have legal grounds to challenge the eviction proceeding the judge claimed they wouldn’t reopen the case since she entered into a settlement with landlord)
  • On Tuesday July 2, Alan and Bonita williams will appear at the settlement conference foreclosure and push for claiming receivership of the rent and selling the house to them after foreclosure.

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