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Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge dismisses appeal in public housing resident’s rent case

A Circuit Court judge has formally dismissed an appeal in a failure to pay rent case filed by attorneys representing the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis against a Newtowne 20 resident.
A Circuit Court judge has formally dismissed an appeal in a failure to pay rent case filed by attorneys representing the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis against a Newtowne 20 resident.

A Circuit Court judge has formally dismissed an appeal in a failure to pay rent case filed by attorneys representing the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis against a Newtowne 20 resident.

Housing authority attorneys filed the motion to dismiss the case against the resident, LaDawn Camp, Feb. 11 because she “paid the rent that was due and made the appeal moot,” said Carrie Blackburn Riley, one of the attorneys representing the housing authority.

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Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Pamela Alban signed the order dismissing the appeal on Friday. It was entered into online court records Wednesday.

Camp is among 42 families who are in the process of evacuating Newtowne 20 in the coming weeks after a gas leak caused safety concerns and forced the housing authority to push up the expected moveout date by several months.

Camp’s attorneys say she paid a sum of about $1,200 under protest so she could acquire a housing choice voucher to move out of her public housing unit to a new apartment, said Lisa Sarro, Maryland Legal Aid advising attorney, who is representing Camp both in the failure to pay rent case and an ongoing discrimination lawsuit filed in federal court against HACA and Annapolis. Camp is one of 28 public housing residents who claim there have been discriminatory practices carried out by the city and the housing authorities.

Camp did not receive a voucher at first because, to get a voucher, residents can’t have any outstanding rent that the housing authority says is owed. Meanwhile, her health has deteriorated to the point physicians said she must move out of public housing as soon as possible. With the sum paid, she will now move out of public housing soon, Sarro said.

Camp plans to continue challenging the amount HACA claims she owed through the federal case or other channels, Sarro said.

The appeal in the failure to pay rent case was initially filed by HACA attorneys last year after an Anne Arundel County district court judge tossed hundreds of failure to pay rent cases against HACA tenants, including Camp’s. In December, a circuit court judge delayed the appeal to March because of an error made in filing the appeal.

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