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Story of Justice: Helping Mateo Fight a Wrongful Eviction

Upholding the Rights of a Low-Income Senior in Mobile Home Park in the Face of Unfair Eviction

Mateo, a hardworking senior who emigrated from Peru a decade ago, sought a better life in the United States. In Peru, he was a respected government accountant, but in pursuit of the American Dream, Mateo adapted to his new life, working diligently here cleaning trucks. His efforts enabled him to achieve a significant milestone: purchasing his own mobile home.

Mateo then married, and his family grew with the birth of his son in 2018 and a daughter during the pandemic in 2021. Throughout this time, Mateo was a model resident, consistently paying rent on time and never had an issue Park Management.

However, in 2023, Mateo’s peaceful life took a drastic turn when he confronted a park employee for speeding in the neighborhood, a concern for the safety of many children in the area, including his own. A day after this confrontation, he unexpectedly found an eviction notice on his door. While on paper the park has a rule that it is for 55 and over, throughout his entire time at the park he’d seen numerous kids living there. His own kids had lived there for years without any issue. Yet, this eviction notice cited a violation of the park’s age policy for having his children live with him.

Mateo was scared. He’d planned to move out in the Spring of 2024 to take a new job elsewhere, but had no means to move before then. He was concerned that he, his wife, and two young children would be homeless.

Our team at CCLA stepped in to defend Mateo. We filed a response, illustrating how the Park was selectively enforcing the rules as a personal vendetta only against Mateo. We did a Public Records Request to the Broward County School Board. The request revealed that over 20 children were registered for school with the Park’s address and that there was even a school bus stop in the neighborhood. This evidence clearly indicated that the age rule was not being uniformly applied and that Mateo was being treated unfairly.

As we prepared for the deposition of the Park Manager to probe this discriminatory enforcement, Mateo proposed a pragmatic solution: a settlement allowing him to stay until Spring 2024, aligning with his plans for a job-related move.

On the eve of the deposition, the park agreed to Mateo’s terms, leading to a dismissal of the eviction case. This settlement secured Mateo’s right to stay in his home without the threat of unfair eviction, allowing him and his family to continue their lives according to their plan.

Mateo’s reaction to this victory was heartfelt and simple: “LUCHAMOS” – “WE WON!”

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*Names, images, and details have been changed to protect our client’s privacy

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