A great-grandmother evicted from her apartment in California because of her “religious activities” has dropped a discrimination complaint against the Golden State after reaching a settlement with the owner of the complex.
WND reported earlier this month the complaint was filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing over the eviction of 85-year-old Diana Martin.
She was told she was evicted because of her religious expression and age, said the Pacific Justice Institute, which defended her.
“What happened to our client, Diana Martin, was wrong on many levels,” said PJI lawyer Matthew McReynolds on Monday. “No one should be evicted based on their religious expression, but especially not an elderly great-grandmother.”
A WND call to the Windgate Village Apartments in Hanford, California, did not generate a response.
The financial amount of the settlement was not released.
“We’re very pleased by this outcome,” said Brad Dacus, PJI president. “We are confident that changes now being made at this apartment complex will spare others what our client went through.
“We also want to commend the owner and landlord, John Draxler, for his part in resolving this matter by offering an apology and agreeing to make changes. This is a win-win that will allow everyone to move forward,” he said.
PJI said Draxler evicted Martin even though she still had months remaining on her year-to-year lease and her rent was fully paid.
“But Draxler cited her religious activities – sharing her faith and offering to pray for people – as reasons why she must find a new home. Draxler knew Martin was recovering from strokes and a heart attack. When she began to cry, protesting that it was winter and she had no children living nearby, he responded that was not his problem,” said PJI.
Draxler repeated the religious basis for his decision in a conversation with Martin’s son, PJI said.
“She had originally moved to Windgate Village because it was designed and marketed as senior living. Since Draxler bought the complex a few years ago, he has brought in younger renters and is now removing older tenants. For many years now, Martin notes that the complex has failed to offer activities or amenities consistent with its original designation as a senior facility,” said PJI.
Martin complied with the eviction order but then contacted PJI.