When Norton resident Charles Fowler discovered he had a Barberton tenant with a criminal record that included rape living at one of his rental properties, he knew he had a problem.
For one, there was a nationwide moratorium on evictions. The ban was first passed by Congress earlier this year as a response to rising unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. That ban expired, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order extending it until Dec. 31.
He contacted U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s office, where he hit a wall. Fowler was told by a staffer that because of the CDC order, there was nothing the lawmaker could do.
The letter to the school district, however, paid off. The district’s attorney contacted Barberton Law Director Lisa Miller, he said.
Miller said that she filed a notice with the court in the case based on an exception to the CDC’s moratorium for health and safety reasons. The court reactivated the case and on Oct. 27, Fowler got his hearing.
Miller praised Fowler, calling him a conscientious landlord.
“He cares for his properties and the people who live there,” she said.
On Oct. 28, a magistrate ruled in his favor. Fowler said he’s hoping the eviction will be completed this week.