An elderly tenant has settled a lawsuit against her landlord after the great-grandmother was evicted because of her faith.
Diana Martin, 86, lives in an apartment complex in the central California town of Hanford. She has many fellow tenants her own age for company – and according to Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute, she's well-liked by her neighbors.
"She was just someone who loved to share her faith on a one-on-one basis, loved to pray with people who wanted prayer," the attorney describes. "This is the kind of perfect tenant that a level-headed landlord would not want to evict."
But John Draxler, the owner of the apartment complex saw it differently. Draxler, who is also the town's vice-mayor, evicted Martin because of her Christian activities and because he wanted a younger tenant.
According to Dacus, Draxler was rather unsympathetic to the plight of the woman who had recently suffered a stroke and a heart attack. The PJI president says "when she [told] the landlord … Hey look, I have no place to go, the reported response was Well, that's not my problem."
Dacus says the landlord had it wrong on two counts. "You can't discriminate based on religious beliefs and practices, [and] you … can't base your evictions on someone being too old," he explains.
After that was "explained" to him, says the attorney, Draxler settled with Martin for an undisclosed amount and agreed to some changes. "The landlord apologized and agreed to make changes to make sure this would never, ever happen again," Dacus concludes.
Editor's note: Image above is a generic image and does not depict Diana Martin or her neighbors.