Kendra Richardson, a resident of Ward 8, found herself in DC Small Claims Court facing a potentially devastating debt collection case. Ms. Richardson’s landlord had sued her for thousands of dollars of supposed unpaid rent – even though Ms. Richardson had been forced to move because the landlord would not address the horrific bed-bug infestation in her unit.
At the courthouse, Ms. Richardson met Tom Papson, a Legal Aid volunteer staff attorney in our Consumer Law Unit and one of the 2018 Servant of Justice Awards Honorees. Tom found that the landlord had been charging Ms. Richardson illegal late fees on top of ignoring her requests for exterminating the bed bugs. Confronted with the clear violations of law and improper conduct, the landlord agreed to drop its claims and pay Ms. Richardson what she was due.
Today, Ms. Richardson is finally free from legal entanglements with this landlord and able to move on with her life. She works as a Patient Services Assistant in the Operating Room at Washington Hospital and is in school to become a surgical tech. But perhaps most importantly, she has a new bed bug-free apartment.