23 Nov 2022

Mississippi Property Abandonment Laws

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The University of Mississippi School of Law`s low-income housing clinic has filed a lawsuit alleging that Mississippi`s personal property abandonment law is unconstitutional because it allows landlords to effectively steal a tenant`s personal property during an eviction. Judge Michael P. Mills, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi, recently issued an executive order “expressing serious concern about the manner in which [Conner`s] personal property was handled in this case, especially since the legal opinion that gave him did not make it clear that he would irrevocably and permanently lose all rights to the personal property. who was still on the site at the time of the eviction.” The impetus for her order was a lawsuit filed by Samantha Conner, a Columbus woman who sued her landlord after he took almost everything she owned when she was evicted in 2019. According to Ms. Conner`s complaint, when she woke up on a rainy Thursday morning in February 2019 and rushed to her front door, she thought it was the maintenance man who had finally come to do the repairs she had requested. Instead, his apartment manager, Kevin Casteel, and Agent Sanders were at the door. Mr. Casteel told Samantha to get out, laughed at how he would take all his belongings, and asked Officer Sanders to arrest Samantha when she argued over her property.

According to Conner, the officer didn`t even let her pull a Vaseline tub out of the bathroom and stopped her from leaving until she handed him her external hard drive that she picked up. After M. Casteel and Agent Sanders had completed the deportation and confiscation, leaving only the clothes on his back. According to Ms. Conner`s lawyers, Ms. Conner was evicted for failing to pay the $926 rent on time for the month of February. It is alleged that Conner tried to pay the rent before his eviction on February 21, 2019, but his landlord refused to accept it. Dominique Douglas and Hunter Bell, students at the Low-Income Housing Clinic handling Ms.

Conner`s case, say they have been researching state laws dealing with a landlord`s handling of property after the tenant is evicted. At the end of their research, they were sad to learn that state law would allow something so unfair and wondered how this law could be constitutional. U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills wrote in his order dated 30. In November, Mississippi`s old law was “unpredictable and absurd” and said it went further than any other state`s deportation laws. He wrote that it violated a resident`s right to due process. (2) If the summons complied with the requirements of section 89-7-31 (2) and the tenant did not remove from the premises any personal property of the tenant, including a manufactured house, the personal property is considered abandoned and may be removed by the landlord without further notice or obligation to the tenant. Inventory and store the tenant`s abandoned property in a safe place. It is best to photograph objects left behind. Store the abandoned property. Notify the tenant of the abandoned personal property and your intention to dispose of it if they do not claim it.

Abandonment can only be presumed if the tenant leaves the property, takes his belongings with him and hands over the keys. However, since the transfer of ownership is implied by the same acts, a waiver may be unnecessary. Abandoned movable property is one in which the owner has voluntarily renounced all rights, title, title and possessions with the intention of terminating his ownership, but without transferring ownership to another person, and without the intention of claiming future rights in them, such as regaining future possession or repossession of ownership, the possession or use of the property. Basically, a waiver is the trustee`s way of saying that the listed property cannot be liquidated in favor of your creditors for one reason or another. When bankruptcy proceedings are instituted, the real estate and personal property are part of a “bankruptcy estate” over which the trustee has control. The previous legislation allowed landlords to immediately seize and dispose of the personal property of a delinquent resident. OXFORD, Mississippi – Last year, Columbus Samantha Conner was evicted from her apartment and all her property was confiscated by her landlord. Now she is the plaintiff in a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Mississippi`s landlord and tenant laws.

An apartment rental company, owner, manager and agent Sonny Sanders, owner of the county, was sued by Ms. Conner. The state of Mississippi considers a tenant`s belongings to be “abandoned” once a sheriff arrives at the resident`s door to serve the tenant`s eviction order, even though the tenant is still living on the property when the sheriff arrives. Conner and his lawyers say the regime is illegal. If a judge grants the landlord possession of the rental property (at a hearing), the judge must set a time limit for the tenant to remove their belongings. If the tenant does not remove them within the allotted time, the landlord can dispose of the items left behind. Miss. Code § 89-7-31(2) If you are not sure if you can claim that a tenant has handed over the property, you can attach a stain to the door of the property. This notice must indicate that the property is considered abandoned and indicate a period of five days after which the locks will be changed if no contact has been made.

When Samantha Conner left her apartment on that rainy Thursday morning in February 2019, she was sure to get her stuff back after a few phone calls. Soon, two years will have passed since their eviction, and Conner still has no idea where his and his son`s property is, or if they will ever get it back. She says her landlord took her valuables, such as her computer, external drive and her son`s playground equipment. But her landlord also took her possessions that were only valuable to her: groceries in her refrigerator and closets, her clothes and those of her son and the drawers in which they were kept, even her personal files and those of her son, including birth certificates, social security card and baby photos. Conner now believes she will never see his estate again. She thinks about the fact that she may never be able to see her child`s baby photos or elementary school reports and often wonders where her belongings ended up. An abandoned property is property that is intentionally and permanently left behind, often by a tenant, when it appears that the previous owner or tenant has no intention of recovering or using it. This can be, for example, property left in a house after the tenant has left or cars left along a road for long periods of time.

Professor Desiree Hensley is one of Samantha`s lawyers at the Low-Income Housing Clinic. She says: “Eviction is hard enough because it leaves families who are already struggling homeless. If a landlord also deprives the family of their property based on the eviction, it is not only a low blow, but devastating and unconstitutional. How can it be fair to the tenant or good for the state of Mississippi to allow landlords to also take any personal property a tenant has acquired during their lifetime and use state law enforcement officers to do so? All it does is destroy lives and impoverish our citizens. If the state of Mississippi cares about its residents, it will fix the law and also ensure that its law enforcement officers don`t bother with holding abusive owners accountable. The owner sold, gave away or eventually discarded Conner`s property, according to legal documents. Mills called this an “act of sheer pettiness and malice” and wrote that the actions were “encouraged by Mississippi`s eviction laws that address the legal fiction that a plaintiff who fails to vacate her apartment on time, as required by an eviction order, has irrevocably `abandoned` her property.” Mills, a former state legislature, wrote in April: “While this court had hoped that the legislature would act more quickly than it did, it is pleased that it has finally passed legislation that, on first reading, represents a substantial improvement over the regulations it declared unconstitutional.” Republican Governor Tate Reeves signed the new law on April 21 and it went into effect immediately. It was adopted with broad cross-party support. Once you`ve uploaded your letter from Mississippi from landlord to tenant as a notice of abandoned personal property, you can fill it out in any online editor or print and fill it out manually. Use U.S. legal forms to access 85,000 country-specific business forms.

Mississippi has revised its landlord-tenant law to give tenants time to get their belongings out of a home before they are forced to leave after a federal judge ruled that the previous law was unconstitutional. In his latest order, Judge Mills encouraged the Mississippi legislature to review the constitutionality of the law and, based on the facts he had read, to ask “whether the laws are the best that the state can offer in this regard.” “I`m asking for punitive damages because I don`t want this to happen to anyone else,” Frau says.