Judge gives Lumberton tenants benefit of the doubt, halts evict - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Judge gives Lumberton tenants benefit of the doubt, halts evictions

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

Lamar County Justice Court Judge Bill Anderson told four tenants at Frank Lee Homes they have one more chance.

The tenants learned April, 23 they were being evicted for alleged lease violations and needed to be out that day. They were told a judgement had been issued against them on April, 12. The tenants say they were never served by the constable for a court date, nor the eviction notice.

In court Thursday, Judge Anderson said he wasn't doubting the word of the tenants or the constable and since he was not there he was going to give the tenants the benefit of the doubt and re-open their cases.

The property manager from the Mississippi Rural Housing Authority cited numerous lease violations by each of tenants including late payments of rent and lawn care fees, and having people with criminal backgrounds on their properties. She asked that each of tenants be ordered to pay what they owed and be served a notice of eviction.

Because of the uncertainty of the case, Judge Anderson gave each of the tenants 10 days to pay what they owe and told them if they came back before him again they would be evicted.

To alleviate any future problems with residents not getting served at Frank Lee Homes, the judge has assigned a constable who lives in Lumberton with the task of serving all future notices.

J.P. Lawrence, Executive Director and CEO of the MRHA, Section VIII, says they are confused and curious about the judges ruling saying it's contrary to what normally happens in justice court. They say they will be checking with their attorneys to see if everything was handled properly.

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