United States: Cities May Evict Domestic Violence Victims under Nuisance Laws


Cities around the United States sometimes rely on nuisance ordinances to evict domestic violence victims from their homes if the victim calls the police too many times for help. In Missouri, a woman has sued the city of Maplewood after the city “deemed her a nuisance and ordered her to leave her home.” According to the city, the woman violated the city’s nuisance laws by calling the police more than twice during a six-month period to report her boyfriend’s abuse. In other cities, landlords have threatened “to evict renters who called the police in domestic violence cases because [the landlords] faced nuisance fines.” According to the New York Times, some states, including Minnesota, Iowa and Pennsylvania, have barred local governments from relying on nuisance ordinances to punish “residents for seeking police or emergency assistance.” 


Compiled from: Hauser, Christine, Woman Abused by Boyfriend Sues City for Evicting Her as NuisanceThe New York Times (April 11, 2017).