Skip to content
CityLab
Justice

Get Abused, Call 911, Get Evicted

Repeat emergency callers can lose their homes under so-called “nuisance” laws, even if they're suffering real emergencies.
relates to Get Abused, Call 911, Get Evicted
REUTERS/Larry Downing

Nancy Markham’s instinct was to call the police when she was attacked in her home.

That’s exactly what the single mother of two from Surprise, Arizona, did when her ex-boyfriend allegedly choked her, punched her, or threatened her with weapons on multiple occasions between March and September 2014, according to legal documents describing the incidents. He often fled before the police responded. But in September, Markham received a different response to her 911 calls: an eviction notice.