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The eviction system, which saw a dramatic drop in cases before a federal moratorium expired over the weekend, rumbled back into action Monday, with activists girding for the first of what could be millions of affected tenants to be tossed onto the street.

In Rhode Island, landlords tired of waiting for federal rental assistance were in court hoping to evict their tenants while in Detroit, at least 600 tenants with court orders against them were at immediate risk.

“It’s very scary with the moratorium being over. All they need in Detroit is a landlord to pay for a dumpster,” said Ted Phillips, a lawyer who leads the United Community Housing Coalition.

The Biden administration allowed the federal moratorium to expire over the weekend and Congress was unable to extend it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders called for an immediate extension, calling it a “moral imperative” to prevent Americans from being put out of their homes during a COVID-19 surge.

In announcing the end of the ban, the Biden administration said its hands were tied after the U.S. Supreme Court signaled the measure had to end. It had hoped that historic amounts of rental assistance allocated by Congress in December and March would help avert an eviction crisis.

But the distribution has been painfully slow. Only about $3 billion of the first tranche of $25 billion had been distributed through June by states and localities. Another $21.5 billion will go to the states.

More than 15 million people live in households that owe as much as $20 billion to their landlords, according to the Aspen Institute. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Parts of the South and other regions with weaker tenant protections will likely see the largest spikes and communities of color where vaccination rates are sometimes lower will be hit hardest. But advocates say this crisis is likely to have a wider impact than pre-pandemic evictions, hitting families who have never before been behind on rent.

In Rhode Island, Gabe Imondi, a 74-year-old landlord, was in court Monday hoping to get an eviction execution. It’s the final step to push a tenant out of one of four housing units he owns in nearby Pawtucket.

Imondi said he and his tenant have both filed forms for the billions in federal aid meant to help keep tenants in their homes but so far, he says, he hasn’t seen a cent of the state’s $200 million share.


A federal appeals court has heard arguments in a challenge to a Michigan city’s practice of marking tires to catch people who ignore time limits on parking.

Alison Taylor is appealing a decision that went in favor of Saginaw. Her attorney argues that chalking tires violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches.

The case made headlines in 2019 when the same appeals court said marking tires could be illegal without a warrant in some circumstances. The court sent the lawsuit back to a federal judge in Bay City for more work, but he eventually ruled against Taylor again.

A different three-judge panel at the appeals court heard arguments Thursday.

In court papers, Saginaw said it’s a “novel issue” but not a violation of the constitution.

“The city used the chalk to inform vehicle owners that that their vehicle is subject to the time limitations as set forth by the local ordinances,” attorneys for Saginaw said.

The city said Taylor had 14 parking tickets, some issued after a tire was marked.

Taylor’s attorney, Philip Ellison, said a chalk line on a tire might be “low tech” but it’s still an illegal trespass against her car. He wants to make the case a class-action.


An Illinois tax agency has ruled that former President Donald Trump is due a $1 million refund on the 2011 tax bill for his downtown Chicago skyscraper, but local officials are trying to block the refund.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that at issue is the Cook County Board of Review’s estimation of the value of the the Trump International Hotel & Tower’s rooms and retail space. In June, the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board voted 5-0 to reduce the assessment on the building’s commercial property.

The vote means that Trump is owed $1.03 million, money that would come out of the property taxes due the city of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools and several other government agencies. The Cook County State’s Attorney is disputing the refund and has filed a lawsuit with the Illinois Appellate Court in the hopes of blocking it.

The dispute is the latest chapter in a long-running legal battle over Trump’s tax bills that started more than 12 years ago and has led to more than $14 million in tax breaks for Trump. It also involves not only a former president who is at the middle of a host of legal battles but a Chicago alderman whose own legal troubles had been making headlines in Chicago for months.

Alderman Edward M. Burke, whose former law firm, Klafter & Burke, won the tax breaks for Trump, has been indicted on federal charges that he blocked businesses from getting city permits unless they hired the firm. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

The dispute over the tax bills on the high-rise building has it’s own long history. Originally, the state agency rejected Trump’s argument that the vacant stores had no value because he could not find any tenants to lease them. A hearing officer for the state agency rejected Trump’s argument that the vacant stores at the building had no value because he couldn’t lease them. But a staff member later wrote a report that Trump was entitled to the refund.

The agency delayed acting on the case until Trump was out of office and in June voted to reduce the assessment on the building’s commercial property.



A man who beat an Ottawa woman and then left her to die does not have to register as a sex offender, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Korrey Raine White Rinke was sentenced i n December 2019 to life in prison with a chance of parole in 25 years for the death of Julianna Pappas, 46, of Overland Park, in 2016. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender.

Pappas’ body was found in a park in Overland Park after she had been missing for more than a week.

Prosecutors initially charged him with capital murder and rape and planned to seek the death sentence but Pappas later agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping.

The state Supreme Court’s order said Rinke gave investigators differing accounts of whether sex between the two was consensual before Pappas was killed. The justices ruled the state had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Rinke kidnapped and killed Pappas for his sexual gratification, meaning he did not commit a sexually violent crime and was not required under state law to register as a sex offender.



Eight years after a judge ruled New York City police violated the constitution by stopping, questioning and frisking mostly Black and Hispanic people on the street en masse, people in communities most affected by such tactics say they’ve been shut out of the legal process to end them.

Lawyers for plaintiffs in two landmark stop-and-frisk lawsuits said in court papers Thursday that community stakeholders have had “very little contact” in the last three years with the court-appointed monitor overseeing reforms and that reports he’s issued don’t reflect their experiences.

They’re demanding greater input, including an advisory board comprised mostly of reform advocates and public housing residents, annual community surveys and biannual audits of NYPD stop-and-frisk and trespass enforcement activity — the results of which would then be summarized in public reports every six months.

“There has been a disconnect and a drift of this reform process run by the monitor and the impacted communities — the people who are experiencing these patterns of police activity,” Corey Stoughton, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, said in an interview.

The monitor, Peter Zimroth, was appointed in 2013 by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin after she ruled that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics were a form of indirect racial profiling that violated the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

Scheindlin also ordered what’s known as a joint-remedial process seeking input from more than 2,000 people in communities most impacted by police stop-and-frisk and trespass enforcement practices. That process, which led to more than dozen reform proposals, ended in 2018.

Since then, according to lawyers involved in Thursday’s court filing, Zimroth has excluded community members’ perspectives from his semi-annual assessments. Instead, they said, he has relied on NYPD data, statements of police personnel and civilian complaints that have been seen by the court as a dubious measure of whether a stop was motivated by race.


A purported gem expert has been convicted of using sleight of hand to steal 4.2 million pounds ($5.7 million) worth of diamonds from a luxury jeweler in London’s tony Mayfair district.

Lulu Lakatos, 60, was sentenced Wednesday to 5 1/2 years in prison after the trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.

Lakatos walked into the Boodles jewelry store on March 10, 2016, after arranging to value seven diamonds purportedly on behalf of a group of wealthy Russian buyers. After she inspected the gems, which included a 20-carat heart-shaped diamond valued at more than 2.2 million pounds, they were placed in a locked bag that was supposed to be held in the jeweler’s vault until payment was received. But when Boodles’ own expert became suspicious the next day, the bag was X-rayed and the store discovered nothing but seven ordinary pebbles.

Lakatos had used a distraction to swap the bag containing the diamonds for an identical one containing the pebbles before it was locked in the vault, according to testimony at the trial.

By the time the theft was discovered, Lakatos and her collaborators had already fled to France. She was arrested on a European arrest warrant last September and returned to Britain to stand trial.

Two men who worked with Lakatos had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and were sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison. Police are still investigating the involvement of two other women.





Two-time Olympic silver medal-winning kayaker Nathan Baggaley and his younger brother have been jailed for more than 20 years each for trying to smuggle up to 200 million Australian dollars ($147 million) worth of cocaine into Australia.

The pair was found guilty by a Brisbane Supreme Court jury in April of attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug in July 2018. During their trial in Brisbane, the court heard Dru Baggaley, 39, and another man travelled hundreds of miles offshore from northern New South Wales state and picked up 650 kilograms (1,430 pounds) of the drug from a foreign ship.

It also heard the men began throwing the drugs overboard on their way back to the mainland, when they spotted an Australian Navy patrol boat chasing them. The two men were arrested by Queensland Water Police shortly after the pursuit.

Nathan Baggaley, who won silver medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the K-1 and K-2 over 500 meters and is a three-time world champion over the K-1 500 distance, was charged almost a year later after it was determined he purchased and fitted out the boat which was used during the failed plot.

Lawyers for the men argued Dru Baggaley had believed the dozens of packages contained tobacco, while Nathan Baggaley knew nothing about a plan to import any illicit substance.

Judge Justice Ann Lyons rejected the brothers’ claims and sentenced them Tuesday on the basis that Dru Baggaley was a “principal organizer” of the operation and his brother Nathan was “actively involved” on the day the two men went to sea, and was set to be rewarded substantially for his role.

Nathan Baggaley, 45, will have to serve 12 years in custody before he is eligible to apply for parole, while Dru Baggaley will be eligible to apply for parole after 16 years.

Nathan Baggaley was banned for taking steroids in 2005 while still competing as a kayaker. The brothers were jailed in 2009 for manufacturing and supplying large numbers of ecstasy tablets, and again in 2015 for producing party pills and conspiring to make methamphetamine.

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