ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – Certified Nursing Assistant Kasey Vang showed Local 5’s Michele McCormack a wound to her arm when she said the father of her two-year-old son went into a violent rage Monday.
“I was able to pin him to the living room ground for a couple of minutes and told my little sister to run to her room,” Vang recalled. “I got cut with a bread knife.”
It got so bad the police were called. He ran off, and the next morning, Kasey received a five-day eviction notice.
“This is a lot of pressure on me. I almost died last night, and I got a letter on my door that I have to be out by Saturday.”
The notice cites illegal activity, which Kasey doesn’t understand since she says she’s the victim of the illegal activity.
The landlord, David Lessmiller, told Local 5 News over the phone he also has evidence that the father of her child was living in the apartment, which is a violation. Kasey says this is a misunderstanding, and he was babysitting for her while she worked a third shift.
We went to the private non-profit “Legal Action of Wisconsin” in Green Bay. It cannot comment directly on this case. But, staff attorney Scott Schnurer says there are some protections for domestic abuse survivors.
“They do not have a right to evict for an act of domestic violence,” Schnurer said. “But if there are nuisance ordinances in place, it is possible that a landlord could evict for police calls.”
And any protections for domestic violence cases can be negated with other lease violations.
Kasey may not be aware of it, but it depends on the lease. If you get a five-day eviction notice, you do have a chance to fix the issue. Or be given 14 days where there is no opportunity to make things right.
The landlord has to go to court to get an order to physically remove you with proof of a violation unrelated to the domestic violence.
“There are statutes that prevent self-help eviction,” explained Schnurer. “Where the landlord changes the locks or turns off utilities or threatens to call the police to have you moved at that moment. Landlords are required to file a lawsuit in the court.”
Sometimes, the situation can be put to rest with a protection from abuse order or when the renter sends written notice to the landlord that the offender will never be invited back.
And if you’re asking why Kasey would even want to stay in her apartment, it’s because it’s near the therapist for her other son, a 4-year-old who is autistic.
“I’ve tried calling and explaining,” insists Vang. “He (the landlord) hasn’t returned my messages.”
By Friday, Kasey made the decision to move out and find another place where she says she feels safe and welcome.
That state has put out a Landlord/Tenant guide for renters who want to refute the cause for eviction.
Experts advise that you should never hesitate to call 9-1-1 when you are threatened or in danger.
Golden House has a helpline for people in domestic violence situations. The number is (920) 432-4244. They also have a toll-free helpline at 1-877-431-4321.
Other legal resources include Legal Action of Wisconsin in Green Bay and Wisconsin Judicare in Wausau 1-800-472-1638.