Sunday, October 1, 2017

CVLS Volunteer Rises to the Challenge

Jennifer Weed, CVLS Volunteer Attorney and Guardian ad Litem

Lekisha came to CVLS’ Jane Addams Clinic because her landlord refused to return a security deposit. She had signed a standard lease, given a deposit of $1,100, and took meticulous care of her apartment with pictures to prove it. Lekisha had been out of her apartment for 30 days when she asked her landlord to return the security deposit. Her landlord refused and that’s when Lekisha contacted CVLS. Long-time volunteer and Clinic Chair, Jennifer Weed, was assigned to her case.

Jennifer thought this case would be resolved through a simple demand letter. In the middle of drafting the demand letter, however, Lekisha's ex-landlord filed for bankruptcy. This began an almost year-long process to recover her security deposit. Equipped with only a basic understanding of bankruptcy and no experience in the area, Jennifer did her own research and reached out to CVLS for help. Under the supervision of CVLS Supervising Attorney Matthew Hulstein, Jennifer was able to force the Federal Court to recognize Lekisha’s security deposit as a priority claim. This was huge because it meant that her claim could not be dismissed and had to be paid in full.

On August 8, 2017, Lekisha received a check for the full amount of her security deposit. She sent Jennifer a kind note thanking her for all of her hard work. When asked about the case, Jennifer said, “Upon hearing her story, I thought this would involve a simple demand letter, the threat of legal action, and all would be resolved. I was so wrong. Lekisha’s note was an awesome reminder that the work we do really matters.”