Five years ago this month, a Dallas County justice of the peace signed an order evicting Clifford Holland from the $1.2 million home he was renting on Caruth Boulevard, a block outside of University Park. Aside from the eye-popping $6,000-per-month rent, the case was a routine tenant-landlord dispute: Landlord claims renter doesn't pay rent, landlord sues, tenant has to pay overdue rent and find somewhere else to live.
Also fairly routine was Holland's decision to appeal the judgment. Where things started to break down, and where a simple rent dispute began to turn into the Jarndyce-esque legal morass Holland's case has become, is when the appeal wound up in Judge D'metria Benson's courtroom. Five years and multiple appellate decisions later, the case continues to grind its way through the legal system.
"We've been to the court of appeals four times," says an exasperated Bill Wolf, a University Park attorney and owner of the Caruth Boulevard home. "It's over a $6,000 rent payment in August 2009. [These things are] supposed to be done expeditiously."More »