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New Law Prevents Domestic Violence Victims from Eviction Under Nuisance Ordinances

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Naperville family law attorneyOctober is domestic violence awareness month, and while it may not seem that reminders are necessary, the numbers seem to suggest otherwise. Every minute, on average, 20 Americans are abused by an intimate partner. At some point in their lives, one in three women and one in four men have been or will be the victim of violence at the hands of a partner. Every day, nationwide domestic violence hotlines report more than 20,000 calls for help. The sad reality is that nearly as many calls should be going to law enforcement as well, but, in many situations, victims of domestic violence are afraid to call the police because, until recently, local laws allowed such callers to be evicted for calling too often.

Nuisance Laws

It is understandable that nobody wants to live in a dangerous neighborhood. Communities and municipalities, for their part, would rather project an image of safety and order. Police cars constantly on the street responding to calls do not help present an idyllic residential area. With this in mind, many such communities enacted so-called “nuisance laws” which allowed residents to be essentially punished in some way if the police were called to that location too many times. Landlords could face fines, and tenants could ultimately be evicted based on too-frequent police calls to a particular home.

On one hand, such ordinances were somewhat understandable. If the same home on particular block threw rowdy parties every weekend, and there were repeated reports of gun violence or drugs, nuisance laws gave the local community the power to do something about it. Too many nuisance laws, however, failed to account for victims of domestic violence, putting such victims at risk for eviction for simply calling for help.

New Requirements

On November 19, 2015, a new law went into effect in Illinois regarding nuisance laws. While the 100-plus communities throughout the state are permitted to continue enforcing nuisance ordinances, they must be amended to make exceptions for victims of domestic violence as well as those with disabilities. Calls to police regarding domestic abuse or on behalf of a person with a disability are no longer permitted to be used against a resident or a landlord.

Seek Legal Guidance

If you have been the victim of domestic violence and your landlord is threatening to evict you, speak with an experienced family law attorney in Naperville right away. We can help you understand the law and your rights, and we will remain at your side throughout the process. Call Pesce Law Group, P.C., at 630-352-2240 today for a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.aclu-il.org/ordinances-in-more-than-40-illinois-municipalities-conflict-with-new-illinois-law/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-kadner-tenants-st-0227-20150226-column.html

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