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Appeals Court Applies Rental Rules in DuPage Verdict

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a Lisle woman, denying a claim that cops violated the Constitutional rights of her long-time tenant when they aided her in removing his possessions from her Lisle home. The appellate panel concurred with a decision rendered in the Northern District of Illinois that Gerald Dix’s failure to obtain a lease meant that he had no possessory interest in the property owned by Theresa Miller. Thus, civil protections against search and seizure were not in effect when Miller had cops hold Dix at bay as she cleared the belongings in advance of showing the home to prospective buyers.

The accusation was part of a litany of charges contained in a lawsuit that Dix filed in 2017, after Miller turfed him from the basement of the home they’d continued to share after their romantic relationship ended some years before. While Dix performed chores and the pair split expenses, they’d never entered into a formal agreement that specified rent or a term of tenancy. In affirming District Judge Charles R. Norgle’s decision, the appeals court said the de facto license Miller granted Dix by letting him remain in the home meant that the 4th Amendment didn’t apply when police intervened as he tried to stop her. 

The Chicagoland Law Firm handles landlord-tenant disputes in our Civil Law practice. We arrange the leases that safeguard property and civil rights. We represent clients on both sides when rental agreements are violated.