Berkeley: Suit to evict disabled senior dropped

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

East Bay Times – By Tom Lochner

BERKELEY — A months-long effort to evict a quadriplegic senior from his South Berkeley apartment is over, after the management company apparently gave up.

“Your eviction lawsuit is finally over,” attorney Meghan Gordon of the East Bay Community Law Center told tenant Michael Pachovas in a letter this month.

“I will be closing your case at EBCLC because this matter has been settled,” she added.

Thus ends a six-month legal ordeal that began in the fall, a year since Pachovas had been hospitalized at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for life-threatening sores that eventually would require several surgeries to remove necrotic tissue. Pachovas, 67, broke his neck in 1969 while he was a Peace Corps worker in Ethiopia.

In October 2015, Pachovas received a legal notice from the John Stewart Co. that he was in violation of his lease because he had been absent for a year from his apartment at the William Byron Rumford Sr. Plaza complex. The Stewart company followed up with a legal notice in December that Pachovas had failed to fill out annual recertification forms. Pachovas said he had not received the latest forms.

He sought legal help from EBCLC. In February, Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington brokered a tentative agreement that would allow Pachovas to remain in his apartment if he completed the recertification forms and provided some income and medical documentation.

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