Most folks would be happy if their neighbors got evicted after three different “disorderly behavior” instances in less than three months. No one wants to deal with that much partying, dog barking, or loud music, right? But a “three strikes” disorderly behavior ordinance in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is now being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of PA because instead of just evicting noisy nuisance neighbors, it is being used to evict innocent domestic violence victims for calling the police for help.
The ACLU filed this week on behalf of Lakisha Briggs, a domestic violence victim who called the police last year when her ex-boyfriend assaulted her; they arrived and arrested him. But police also told Briggs that if they kept returning to the residence over disorderly behavior calls, she would get evicted. Not surprisingly, Briggs was afraid to call the police regarding future incidents — including the time her ex-boyfriend attacked her with a brick — over fear that she and her three-year-old child would become homeless. And yet after a June 2012 attack from her ex-boyfriend that had Briggs airlifted to the hospital, police of Norristown threatened to evict them from their home because neighbors had called to complain. Keep reading »