King County Court documents show eviction process leading up to Ballard shooting
Seattle - Months before the exchange of gunfire at an apartment complex in Ballard, Eucytus, 29, had been dealing with her landlord in court. King County Court documents reveal that her landlord had reported that she stopped paying rent around May 2022.
Edmund Witter, Managing Attorney at the Housing Justice Project, says the organization did try to step in to help for a period of time.
"The Housing Justice Project provides representation to tenants facing eviction," said Witter. "I can confirm we represented them in their eviction case."
Court documents show that rent was listed at $1,150 per month with the landlord claiming rent was owed from May 2022 through September 2022 in those documents. Overdue rent was listed at more than $6,000.
The documents state that on Sept. 9, 2022 Eucytus was served with a 14-day notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. Documents also indicated that the plaintiff, listed as Gilman Park Partners LLC, did receive a certificate of participation in the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program from the King County Dispute Resolution Center. The program allows tenants and landlords to meet with a neutral mediator before an eviction lawsuit is filed.
"We do run a rental assistance program that’s available to people in an active eviction case. There are some interventions we can use to hopefully pay off that rent and keep them housed and take care of the eviction before it happens," said Witter.
Due to client confidentiality, Witter couldn't tell us exactly what happened in this case, but court documents show that Eucytus was served with an eviction summons October, 11. A judge determined it wouldn't happen before March 1st. An IFIT spokesperson said deputies then tried to serve the Writ of Restitution this week, just prior to the shooting.
Witter couldn't say why the eviction moved forward, but spoke in general terms about why representation ends.
"Typically once the eviction case is over with, you know, once they have had a court hearing, and otherwise, all other options have been exhausted, at that point our representation ends. So at this point, it was pretty much, there was nothing more we could do at that point," said Witter.
Witter says on average, the program helps around 1,000 to 1,500 people a year. He says most cases involve renters that own a month or less in rent.
There is a hotline to call if you are having an issue with an eviction case. For urgent eviction-related issues, the Housing Justice Project advises that you call 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-9274 to connect with free, confidential community services in Washington state.
You can also visit the organization's website for more information.