We're headed to court on Thanksgiving Eve to fight our eviction

...in the midst of a new surge of coronavirus infections.

UPDATE: Because of a court mishap, which our attorney found out about at the very last moment, our eviction trial did not happen today. It has been now set for the end of January. Our liberal Dickens Christmas has been averted..for now. 

It’s been about three months since we learned that our landlord was going to try to evict us from our apartment in Los Angeles. We’ve been waiting most of this time, unsure about when or how we’d finally go to court — the pandemic had thrown the legal system into total turmoil. Well, Evgenia and I finally got the news: we’re headed to the courthouse a day before Thanksgiving. We’re gonna fight to stay in our home, even as the coronavirus is massively spiking and Los Angeles is once again going into lockdown.

I don’t want to get too much into the details of our case before we go to trial (you can read what I wrote about it earlier here and here), but the eviction attempt is clearly frivolous. And the relevant tenant law, such as it is, appears to be on our side. But as our attorney reminded us, you never know how these things will play out in court, no matter how good your case may appear to be. So we’re preparing for the worst.

Given the timing of our trial, if we do end up losing, we could be forced out of our apartment right as Christmas rolls around. As Evgenia points out, this is straight out of a Charles Dickens plot: a landlord pushing a pregnant woman and her husband out into the cold on Christmas Eve, even though they had been pooling their meager salaries to pay the rent every month and had been nothing but model tenants. But our story has a few dark layers that even Dickens didn’t use: it all happens during a global pandemic and takes place in what’s supposed to be the most progressive, liberal city in the most progressive, liberal state in America. Ah, the holiday season…you can just feel the cheer and goodwill.

It’s hard to believe that eviction cases are even allowed to go forward at all right now. We’re in a pandemic with record unemployment and a housing catastrophe — triggered by a state-enforced shutdown of the economy that took place with no government support for the people who are affected the most. And while Congress pushed through perhaps the biggest corporate looting bill in the history of America, bread lines stretch for miles, millions are out of work, and people are going hungry and can’t make rent. And yet, California eviction courts are open for business. What a time to be alive in America.

Anyway, we’re headed to court next week. Pray for us.

—Yasha Levine