Community Legal Aid Adopts Triage System to Prepare for Surge in Evictions

In the face of mounting eviction cases, Community Legal Aid is scaling back services and turning down some cases to free up staff for the pending surge.

“The uptick has already begun in some of our courts,” John Petit, the organization's managing attorney for housing and consumer issues, said of some eviction hearings resuming in Medina, Portage, Stark and Mahoning counties. “We’re going to have to be proactive.”

Community Legal Aid normally conducts time-consuming investigations into why landlords neglect repairs. There’s no time for that now as Petit described a “triage system” in which staff attorneys, who are hoping the courts tap more lawyers from the Akron Bar Association, are intentionally not taking cases with the weakest defenses.

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