Jed reached out to GLSP under life-or-death circumstances. He is a senior-aged quadriplegic dependent on a ventilator in his trachea. Due to his condition, Jed is entirely reliant on assistance from others, including getting in and out bed, showering, eating, and many other daily tasks.
For an unstated reason, Jed’s apartment complex refused to accept his federally-funded rent payments and demanded his immediate eviction. The complex filed a dispossessory warrant for nonpayment of rent. In accordance with Georgia tender defense law, he paid the rent owed, plus the cost of the dispossessory warrant into the court’s registry. The magistrate court ruled in Jed’s favor and granted him continued possession of his apartment. Unfortunately, Jed was underrepresented at a state court hearing and the judge ruled in favor of the apartment complex.
This is when Jed reached out to GLSP for help. Attorneys Cheryl Griffin and Susan Reif took this case head on. They first tried to find alternative housing for Jed, but were unsuccessful because finding adequate and affordable housing for a severely disabled individual in poverty-stricken southwest Georgia is nearly impossible.
Griffin and Reif also attempted to negotiate with the apartment complex with little result.
They were not deterred. Griffin and Reif filed a Motion to Set Aside and Stay the Writ of Possession. They had a hearing on the matter and were able to persuade the state court judge to reverse his ruling and affirm the lower court’s decision.
GLSP’s unwavering dedication to this case did not only change Jed’s life, but saved it. Jed had no family or friends in the area– he would have been homeless had he been evicted. Furthermore, homelessness meant certain death for him due to his reliance on electricity to power his ventilator.
It is so rare to persuade a judge to reconsider and overturn an initial judgement, and it was so important in Jed’s situations because it was the difference between life and death. Without GLSP, he would not have had the resources to challenge the state court judge’s unjust ruling. Jed’s case is a reminder that, although it might appear too late to help a client, it is always crucial to exhaust all remedies.