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Jones v. Public Housing Agency of City of Saint Paul

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 29, 2018

TASHAWNA JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
PUBLIC HOUSING AGENCY OF THE CITY OF SAINT PAUL, Defendant.

          Heather Meyers, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Counsel for Plaintiff.

          Sean Dillon Whatley, St. Paul Assistant City Attorney, Counsel for Defendant.

          ORDER

          MICHAEL J. DAVIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         I. Introduction

         The above matter comes before the Court upon the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz dated February 27, 2018. Plaintiff objects to the recommendation that the Court deny her motion for a temporary restraining order, arguing the Magistrate Judge applied the wrong standard in determining the likelihood of success on the merits of her claim of lack of due process. Plaintiff further objects to the Magistrate Judge's finding that she failed to show irreparable harm, because Plaintiff failed to show she was being evicted. Plaintiff claims at this time that she still has not found a job, it is unclear how long her landlord would delay filing an eviction notice, and she currently does not have sufficient income to pay rent.

         Pursuant to statute, the Court has conducted a de novo review of the record. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Local Rule 72.2(b). Based upon that review, the Court will ADOPT the Report and Recommendation in its entirety.

         II. Discussion

         A. Background

         Plaintiff does not object to the Magistrate Judge's findings of fact, and the Court adopts those findings as its own. Briefly, Plaintiff was notified by letter received on August 21, 2017, that her Section 8 assistance would be terminated effective September 30, 2017 because she failed to report her receipt of child support income from 2014 through June 2017. (Comp. Ex. 1.) The letter set forth the bases for this decision, and provided her until August 27, 2017 to request an informal hearing to challenge the termination of her benefits. (Id.)

         In the envelope with the termination letter was a letter informing her that she owed PHA $668 in overpayments, and a third document that was a proposed Section 8 Repayment Agreement. (Id., Exs. 2 and 3.)

         The second letter informed Plaintiff of a balance due because of the child support payments that had not been reported and explained that the balance represented a retroactive adjustment to what her rent portion should have been from June 2014 through June 2017. (Id., Ex. 2.) The letter informed Plaintiff of the options available for repayment, and warned that if she did not pay the balance or enter into a Repayment Agreement, her Section 8 assistance could be terminated. (Id.)

         Plaintiff signed the Repayment Agreement, and sent in a monthly payment. (Id. Exs. 3 and 4.) Plaintiff mistakenly believed that if she met her repayment obligations, her Section 8 assistance would continue. (Id. Ex. 5.) She therefore did not request an informal hearing within the time allowed to challenge the termination. Plaintiff's Section 8 assistance was terminated on September 30, 2017.

         After her Section 8 assistance was terminated, Plaintiff continued to pay her rentn from her wages. (Plaintiff Aff. ¶ 3.) However, on February 6, 2018, Plaintiff lost her job, and thereafter filed this motion for temporary injunctive relief, seeking an order enjoining Defendant from refusing to reinstate her Section 8 assistance[1].

         B. Motion for ...


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