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Grandmother reaches settlement after faith led to eviction

An elderly grandmother has settled a claim with her landlord who gave her an eviction notice for sharing her faith.

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has settled a claim on behalf of a great-grandmother who had been evicted from her longtime apartment due to her religious activities.

As Metro Voice News reported, earlier this month the PJI had filed a formal charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for Diana Martin, 86, of Hanford.  Martin had been evicted from her apartment where she had lived for nearly 14 years.

Martin’s landlord had cited her religious activities—sharing her faith and offering to pray for people—as reasons for serving the eviction notice. The elderly widow was kicked out even though she had months remaining on her year-to-year lease and her rent was fully paid.

In a statement released Monday, the PJI said both parties involved resumed negotiations after the announcement of the discrimination charge with the state had been made. The parties have now reached a settlement.

As part of the settlement, the DFEH charge has been withdrawn. The financial amount of the settlement remains confidential.

“We’re very pleased by this outcome,” Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute said. “We are confident that changes now being made at this apartment complex will spare others what our client went through. We also want to commend the owner and landlord, John Draxler, for his part in resolving this matter by offering an apology and agreeing to make changes. This is a win-win that will allow everyone to move forward.”

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