The ACLU's Legal Challenge to Treating Domestic Violence as a Nuisance Problem

"Lakisha Briggs was a 34-year-old single mom living in the suburbs of Philadelphia in subsidized rental housing. Her boyfriend had attacked her repeatedly in her home, and the police had been called on several occasions to intervene—10 times in the first five months of 2012 alone, according to her legal filings. But because an ordinance in Norristown, Pa., says that a tenant who makes three 911 calls within four months can be evicted and that tenant’s landlord could have his or her rental license suspended, Briggs did not call the police on the night of June 23, 2012, when the same boyfriend hit her in the head with a glass ashtray then stabbed her in the neck with a piece of broken glass. The police had already warned her that she was on her third strike after their last visit. So she didn’t make the call and—just before she passed out—Briggs begged a neighbor not to do so on her behalf."



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