The time we were dreading was only 20 minutes away.
Mary and I were sitting alone in County Court Room 101
waiting for the 10:30 hour when we would be
seeking eviction of a renter.
I’ve had to seek court evictions perhaps five times in about 20 years of renting, but this is the first time a renter has challenged. Because she filed a response claiming that our home was providing no heat so therefore she did not owe rent, we had to come back in the same room a week later.
This time it’s called a trial (thankfully no jury), and I definitely haven’t yet figured out how to count it all joy (James 1:2)!
For days Mary and I have been praying for help and asking God to guide me in what to say before the judge. I must refute what the renter claims, but I must still be Christian about it. I spent several nights preparing my opening presentation, striving to get every word perfect without it being too long.
For days we have been praying for a solution that would be best and fair for the renter and for us. Luke 12:58 advises us to try hard to reconcile with an adversary on the way to the magistrate.
But with 15 minutes to go, we were waiting on the bench for the dreaded confrontation.
A door opened but it was the back one, and the renter came in. We chatted a bit warily and she informed us that she believed she would have a new place to move to in five days and she said she had a truck arranged to come move her furniture! She wanted us to drop the eviction, but we knew we had to get it or risk having to start all over again for another $123 and another two weeks to get a new court date.
But we agreed that hopefully the judge would grant some way to hold off making the eviction official until the day after she assured us she would be moved out.
“All rise, please …”
I was called to testify and present my charges. With pages and pages of paperwork carefully organized in front of me and my opening speech rarin’ to go, I told the judge that I would drop what I had planned and told him about the agreement we had struck in the last 15 minutes.
He said he would have to grant a Writ of Restitution (of possession) but he could make it effective later than usual so that it would be the day after the renter said she would be out. If she actually moved out by that date, we would not need to come pick it up from the court clerk. But if she didn’t, we would be able to have it enforced.
Would the renter agree to that? She did!
So thank you, Judge! Thank you, Judge! I’m talking The Judge of heaven and earth.
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