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Cole v. Metropolitan Council HRA

September 14, 2004

ANGELA COLE, RELATOR,
v.
METROPOLITAN COUNCIL HRA, RESPONDENT.



Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Minge, Judge, and Forsberg, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Under 24 C.F.R. § 982.552(b)(2) (2003), the Minnesota Council HRA must terminate Section 8 benefits for a family evicted from housing for a serious violation of the lease.

2. 24 C.F.R. § 982.552(b)(2) is mandatory, and a hearing officer is not permitted to consider a particular hardship that would result from the termination of Section 8 benefits.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Forsberg, Judge

Affirmed

Forsberg, Judge*fn1

Metropolitan Council

OPINION

In this certiorari appeal, relator tenant argues that respondent improperly terminated her Section 8 housing assistance because (1) respondent lacked authority to terminate Section 8 benefits when the underlying eviction judgment was by default, there was no violation of the lease, and any violation of the lease was not ruled to be the "serious" violation required to terminate Section 8 benefits; (2) the hearing officer failed to recognize that the eviction judgment was by default, make credibility determinations, and make adequate findings; and (3) the hearing officer failed to consider mitigating circumstances. We affirm.

FACTS

Relator Angela Cole obtained a Section 8 rental voucher from respondent Metropolitan Council Housing and Redevelopment Authority in 2000. On October 1, 2003, relator gave notice to her landlord that she would be vacating her apartment at the end of November. Shortly thereafter, relator faxed a copy of her notice to vacate to respondent. Upon receipt of relator's notice to vacate, respondent mailed recertification paperwork to relator. Completion of the paperwork was necessary for relator to obtain Section 8 rental assistance at her new residence. As part of the recertification process, relator was required to sign a Statement of Responsibilities, which provided in part:

I understand that I must give [respondent] a copy of any eviction notice I receive within ten (10) days of receipt of that notice. I understand that if I violate a provision of my lease and am evicted by a court ordered judgment on behalf of the owner [respondent] will terminate my Section 8 Rental Assistance.

Relator signed the statement on October 23, 2003, and respondent subsequently approved a Section 8 voucher for relator's new residence.

On November 3, 2003, relator's landlord commenced an eviction action against her. Relator's landlord provided respondent with a copy of the eviction complaint on November 6, and an eviction hearing was held a week later. Relator failed to attend the hearing, and, consequently, the district court granted a default judgment in favor of the landlord and issued a writ of recovery. Relator's landlord faxed a copy ...


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