Darren Pruslow, CVLC Supervising Attorney, began his testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Judiciary with a strong message, “We oppose the proposed changes to Summary Process because of the dire consequences these changes would have for our clients.”
In CVLC’s view, this proposed law destroys the balance in what is already an unequal process. Most Landlords have the assistance of counsel while most tenants are forced to fight these battles pro se (unrepresented). Many of the CVLC clients that are fighting this process are disabled and on the cusp of poverty. Those we do not get to assist are often defaulted because they do not understand the process and are limited in their ability to participate. This new law would further tip this scale toward the landlord by giving the landlord immediate access to legal fees and damages. Tenants, on the other hand, still have to wait up to a month to receive the return of their security deposits – even if they need them to obtain new housing – and have to go through an ordinary, longer legal process to recover any deposits that a landlord wrongly withholds.