New Volunteer Finds Creative Solution for Senior Citizen Facing Eviction

By Gloria Chun CORP Supervising Attorney and JDC Pro Bono Manager

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John Roman negotiated an outcome for a 76-year-old woman facing eviction in his first pro bono case with our Homeless Advocacy Project. The tenant’s mentally ill grandson had nowhere else to go at night and slept on her floor. He was supposed to leave during the day but sometimes lingered outside and engaged other residents. The landlord filed an unlawful detainer case alleging nuisance.

John Roman

John Roman

The landlord offered to dismiss if the grandson stopped coming but Roman could not in good conscience “save his client from homelessness but doom her grandson to it.” He persuaded the landlord to delay the proceedings while he sought a solution, and pulled in local resources for help: the Mobile Crisis Treatment Team for a psychiatric assessment; crisis care centers; a medical center. He was committed to solving a “problem that is not easily addressed through San Francisco’s mental health mechanisms,” sometimes leaving mental health workers unable to help even when they want to. Roman persuaded the grandson to enter a two-week inpatient program, and hopes to get him into longer-term treatment afterwards so that Roman can seek independent housing for him.

Roman negotiated a settlement agreement in which his client’s grandson is not allowed in her home when exhibiting symptoms of his mental illness, but may visit during his periodic lucid, stable times. The landlord has dismissed the eviction case.

JDC applauds Roman, a San Francisco native who attended Saint Ignatius High School and USF Law, for giving back to his home community as a lawyer.

John Roman, with Keller, Sloan, Roman & Holland, practices business litigation and entertainment law.

 

If you’d like to combine your legal experience with JDC’s training in substantive law to assist low-income litigants, please visit www.sfbar.org/jdc or contact probono@sfbar.org.