Woman’s deceased father has belongings thrown out of apartment less than a week after death

A woman says her father's belongings were thrown on the side of the road less than a week after he passed away.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT

BAKER, La. - A woman grieving the loss of her father says things were made even worse when she showed up at his apartment in Baker and found all of his things stacked by the road.

Tiffiany Gray said her father, Vernon Gray, passed away in the last week of July. She also said his rent was paid through the end of that month, but less than a week after he died, while his family went to retrieve his things, they instead found all his belongings thrown on the side of the road for trash. He had apparently been evicted, Tiffiany said, without any notice.

“You didn’t even give me time to grieve, it wasn’t even a week afterwards,” said Tiffiany Gray.

She added she asked the landlord for a copy of the lease and her father’s deposit but was denied. To make things worse, her father was looking after Tiffiany’s disabled brother. The brother is not on the lease. His things, too, were thrown out, leaving him with no clothes and without his caretaker.

“We have to be a family and help out with him but I just don’t know where to go. My dad was his provider,” explained Tiffiany.

According to records, the apartment building is owned by a man named Nicholas Williams. We reached to Mr. Williams by phone and he told us attorney Kendall Plain runs his day-to-day operations. Kendall Plain is the same name Tiffiany gave us for the name of her late father’s landlord.

Plain sent the following letter to WAFB:

“This is part of the reason why I wanted to run for public office, right here,” said Constable Andre Hamilton.

He said the law is clear on the process that has to be followed before evicting someone.

“Through my investigation, they haven’t even been to court yet...we haven’t served any papers out to notify this family that they even have a court date,” explained Hamilton.

He also said the process is the owner or landlord should go through the justice of the peace to file a petition for eviction and then allow the constable’s office 72 hours to serve the notice.

The matter then goes to court, and if the judge rules to evict the tenants, they must be given another 24 hours to vacate the property.

“Even then, like I told you, if the tenant does not come to court, my office stands behind going to try and notify them that they have 24 hours to vacate the premises. We don’t believe in just posting on the door. Yes, you can post on the door, but you have to be properly notified,” added Hamilton.

The constable said, in this case, an eviction was filed for but they did not wait for the rest of the legal process to play out.

“That’s just the way the law is. But you don’t take it into your own hands and just go put someone’s things out and they haven’t even been to court. You can’t do that. If they would have came through our court or if the procedures would have been done as though it should have, this would not have happened,” said Hamilton.

And the constable said the process is no different just because the person on the lease has died.

“I don’t know the outcome as to why he passed away. But you don’t go and put his belongings out to the road. There’s certain things you still have to do. You still have to file that proper paperwork to get him out,” explained Hamilton.

Tiffiany said they’re looking for anyone who can help her and her family with any legal matters going forward.

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