Mary's Story

*names and identifying characteristics have been changed for anonymity


“Mary” is a victim of domestic violence. Her ex-boyfriend, who she resides with, is arrested for battery against her. Mary obtains a temporary injunction for protection against him in injunction court, giving her sole possession of her abuser’s condominium for one year. Her abuser’s criminal attorney does not like this and files an unlawful detainer lawsuit against Mary, which would force her to leave her home, despite the existence of the injunction giving her exclusive possession.

After Mary’s GLS attorney responds to the meritless unlawful detainer lawsuit, the abuser’s criminal attorney files a court date to modify the injunction agreement. He does not dismiss his additional lawsuit against Mary. At the injunction modification hearing, Mary reaches an agreement with the abuser’s attorney on the record. In it, he states he will dismiss his additional lawsuit. He does not. The unlawful detainer lawsuit would be damaging for Mary – it is similar to having an eviction on record – and would make it very difficult for her to find another rental.

Fortunately, Mary’s GLS attorney attends the unlawful detainer hearing with a court reporter and directly questions the abuser’s lawyer about his actions on the record. The abuser’s lawyer gets caught for not following the agreement reached at the injunction hearing and the judge forces him to immediately file a dismissal of the lawsuit. Mary retains her housing and avoids any damage to her rental record, saving her from homelessness.


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