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Eviction less likely for Dallas County tenants who get a lawyer — but most don’t have one

KERA - By Christopher Connelly - January 2024

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A study of Dallas County eviction cases found most tenants lose their cases, forcing them out of their homes and leaving a permanent mark on their record that makes it harder to find housing in the future.

The Child Poverty Action Lab observed nearly 1,300 eviction cases over a nearly six-month period, providing a picture of how eviction cases play out that is rarely seen because courts produce little public data.

The nonprofit found renters rarely have legal representation, though they fare significantly better when they have a lawyer. Their landlords are far more likely to have a lawyer. The study also shows evictions are adjudicated at a blistering pace, with judges taking about four minutes, on average, to rule.

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