Even though the defendant-tenant’s 17-year-old son was a mile from their apartment when he committed an armed robbery, the plaintiff-housing authority could still find that the son’s activities posed a threat to the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the rental premises by tenants. Therefore, the housing authority had good cause to evict the tenant and her minor daughter pursuant to the “One-Strike Rule.” 42 U.S.C. § 1437d(1)(6).
We affirm in part, reverse in part and remand the circuit court’s decision to uphold the eviction.
Section 1437d(1)(6) does not require a threat to be “ongoing” to justify terminating a public-housing lease. The facts that the son was in jail and, upon release, would go to live with his grandmother – meaning he was no longer physically able to threaten other public-housing tenants – do not weigh in the threshold showing of whether good cause exists to evict the tenant and her daughter for the son’s actions.
However, the One-Strike Rule did not require eviction; rather, the housing authority had discretion as to whether to pursue the tenant’s eviction. The record is unclear as to whether the housing authority knew it had such discretion. The circuit court erred in concluding the housing authority demonstrated that it had exercised discretion simply by being “aware of the applicable regulations.” We remand for consideration of whether the housing authority exercised its discretion.
Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded.
City of Charleston Housing Authority v. Brown (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-059-22, 10 pp.) (Per Curiam) Appealed from Charleston County Circuit Court (Alison Renee Lee, J.) Matthew Billingsley and Adam Protheroe for appellant; Tjheodore Parker, Jacqueline Dixon Phillips and Thomas Bacot Pritchard for respondent. S.C. App.