From Domestic Violence to Eviction

In October of 2009, Kathy Cleaves-Milan was told that she was being evicted from her apartment as she was preparing a check to pay her rent.  The story only gets worse when she revealed to the leasing agent that she needed an order of protection against her boyfriend who had been helping her pay, but was kicked out due to a zero-tolerance policy for “criminal activity.”  Cleaves-Milan reported that she was twice thrown against the wall as well as threatened with a gun.  A spokeswoman for Aimco, (one of the largest owners and operators of apartment communities in the United States) Cindy Duffy said, “As the safety of our residents is our top priority, we have a zero-tolerance policy for any criminal activity at our communities.”  Duffy also claimed she left her apartment that day because she could not afford to stay when her rent was due.  However, Cleaves-Milan responded to Duffy with, “My reason for being evicted was there was gun violence in my home.”  When the issue arrived in court, Cleaves-Milan’s attorney Kate Walz argued, “She did everything right.”

After winning the case, Cleaves-Milan said that the whole incident still affects her family today.  In 2010, the Illinois Human Rights Act prohibited discrimination against a person who has obtained an order of protection.

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