Filomena Gehart

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Unless municipal nuisance ordinances change, domestic violence victims can face eviction just for calling the police. Nuisance ordinances generally impose fines on a property owner or landlord when the police are called to respond to incidents of crime a certain number of times at the same residence. Many nuisance ordinances also revoke a landlord’s rental license if a property is deemed a nuisance. However, many of these nuisance ordinances do not have an exception for incidents of domestic violence and, consequently, victims are scared to call 911 or request police assistance. This comment surveys the development of nuisance laws and ordinances, analyzes constitutional and statutory challenges to ordinances without domestic violence exceptions, and focuses on the positive social implications of adding such exceptions.