Eviction Spotlight: Chesterfield mother of three faces writ of possession executed against judgment

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

We often hear that tenants are the problem when it comes to evictions and that landlord harassment only comes from a few “bad apples,” but we witness a pattern of landlords taking advantage of low-income Virginians through our eviction helpline. The Eviction Spotlight series seeks to shed light on these stories.

Laura’s* most recent Unlawful Detainer action in court had resulted in a judgment for money, but the judge specifically indicated it was not a judgment for possession. Despite this, her landlord got a writ of possession based on that judgment, and the sheriff scheduled an eviction. The Eviction Legal Helpline checked the online court records, which stated it was not a judgment for possession, and advised the client to go to the court clerk’s office and get a copy of the paper judgment to confirm that it did not include possession.

Laura did as we advised. The court clerk told her that it was just a clerical error and the landlord should have gotten the writ based on one of a handful of earlier judgments for possession against the tenant. We explained that she should be able to file a motion to quash the writ and get the eviction cancelled, at least until the landlord got another writ based on a judgment for possession. VPLC then referred her to the Legal Aid Justice Center for help with that effort.

*Name has been changed to protect the client’s identity.

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