The opinion of the court was delivered by: CAHN
Plaintiff, a tenant of a public housing authority, seeks injunctive relief, in the form of an order requiring the authority to provide her with a dwelling unit.
I permitted plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis. A complete record has been made of the factual background of plaintiff's equitable claim, and the attorneys for the parties have filed comprehensive briefs and presented oral argument. For the reasons stated below, I will grant injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from evicting plaintiff until the Authority complies with the notice and hearing requirements mandated by federal and state law.
1. The plaintiff is Vanessa Noble, who was born on October 6, 1963.
2. Defendant, Bethlehem Housing Authority ("BHA"), is a municipal corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a principal office in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
3. Defendant, Laura Easen, is a property manager for BHA. She manages Pembroke Project and three other projects containing 772 family units.
4. The plaintiff and BHA were parties to a written residential dwelling lease, dated September 18, 1980 and subsequently renewed, for a unit in the Pembroke Project at 1154 Fritz Drive, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This lease, in paragraph 6N, obligates the tenant:
To give the Authority notice in writing when the premises are to be vacant for two weeks or more; such notice shall not render the Authority responsible for any personal property of any nature or description left in or on the leased premises during Tenant's absence[.]
5. Plaintiff, still residing in the Fritz Drive apartment, married on January 14, 1984.
6. On January 15, 1984, plaintiff went to Trenton, New Jersey, to the home of her husband's grandmother.
7. Plaintiff returned to 1154 Fritz Drive, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at the end of February, 1984. Plaintiff had not given BHA notice that she would be away from the premises for more than two weeks.
8. On plaintiff's return, Myrna Morales, a management aide for BHA, orally reminded plaintiff of the requirement for giving notice if plaintiff would be absent from the premises for a period in excess of two weeks.
9. On April 18, 1984, plaintiff left the premises and returned to Trenton, New Jersey, in an attempt to resolve marital problems.
10. Plaintiff did not advise BHA that she would be away from the premises for a period in excess of two weeks.
11. On May 10, 1984, concerned that the premises at 1154 Fritz Drive were vacant, BHA mailed a notice to plaintiff addressed to 1154 Fritz Drive, Bethlehem, Pa., 18107, stating that an inspection would be held on Monday, May 14, 1984, between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. The notice further stated: Also, if we do not hear from you by Monday, May 14, 1984, we will consider your home abandoned and cancel your lease--since it has been reported to us that you ...