Terrance Hall is fighting eviction from this building.
Valencia Gardens, January 2017. Photo by Lydia Chávez.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ordered a momentary reprieve on Tuesday for a young Valencia Gardens resident, Terrance Hall, who is facing potential eviction from the public housing facility.

Visiting Judge Ronald Quidachay issued a tentative ruling that 18-year-old Hall not be removed from an apartment at the housing complex at 15th and Valencia Streets. The reprieve relied on a technicality, as Hall was not named in a December eviction notice served to his since-deceased grandmother. Hall was a minor at the time.

Patricia Harrison, Hall’s grandmother, died on Feb. 17 at the age of 70.

The judge, however, stopped short of giving Hall a right to stay in the apartment permanently.

The John Stewart Company, which filed for the eviction, manages the property owned by Mission Housing Development Corporation. A John Stewart Company representative was not immediately available for comment.

A similar ruling was made last Tuesday, but The John Stewart Co. has been resolute.

Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning, during which lawyers for the management company will ask the court to include Hall in the judgement that ordered his grandmother out of the apartment. A first eviction notice from Nov. 30 alleged a host of illegal activities as grounds for eviction, including fighting, theft, and unauthorized occupants living at the residence.

Hall, a minor at the time, is mentioned nowhere in the complaint. He is, however, named in the lease as an occupant of the household.

Hall had been living with his grandmother from the age of 5. He told Mission Local he never knew his father and is still in touch with his mother, who lives in Oakland.  

“Plaintiffs John Stewart is trying to file every possible motion to force the sheriff to evict my client without any hearing or decision or trial on the merits of the case,” said Darren Orr, a Bay Area Legal Aid attorney who is representing Hall pro bono. “There’s no judgement against him.”

On Tuesday, Hall sat in a dark apartment. A sheet hanging over the window kept any light out. Possessions of his recently deceased grandmother still populated the living room — oxygen tanks in the corner and a large rose preserved in resin on the coffee table.

They’re “trying to put allegations on me that have nothing to do with me,” Hall said, only offering that those accusations have “something to do with my cousins.”

Hall characterized the situation as a “disaster,” but said, “Some things is still going good for me.” He was speaking about the court’s tentative ruling earlier in the morning.

Hall, who said he likes playing football and basketball, said he’d soon be transferring from Galileo High to finish high school elsewhere.

Terrance Hall (left) speaks with KPIX reporter Mark Sayer (right) during a March 7 broadcast in his grandmother’s apartment. (Image captured from the broadcast.)

Some neighbors thought the disturbances at Hall’s apartment were only nuisances. “The music was too high and he wouldn’t turn it down,” said one. Another said there was “too much foot traffic” in and out of the apartment.

Other neighbors said they remember noise, fights and police being called on the apartment’s residents, but emphasized that the calls were not necessarily in connection to Hall. “The police were called here a lot — once five times in one day,” said a neighbor. “But it for was all the girls fighting outside.”

The neighbor, who asked for anonymity, said that Hall hangs out with his friends at the complex, but the neighbor has never seen Hall taken into police custody.

Another neighbor agreed that it was “the women” who had been arrested. That neighbor noticed some of the women wore ankle monitors. “The women would come and go,” the neighbor said.

“I would hope he gets an apartment because, poor kid — no parents,” she said. “He’s going to high school. It’s not his fault his grandma got sick.”

Nancy Crowley, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, confirmed that the department “did not move to evict” Hall and that it’s currently “not on the drawing board.”

However, depending on Thursday’s proceedings, that could change.

Mercedes Gaven, the lawyer representing John Stewart Co., did not return requests for comment.

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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1 Comment

  1. My heart goes out to this young man for the loss of his grandmother and not having other parents to fill in the gap! If the judge rules in favor of him staying, then they would need to change the rules to allow all families to be able to inherit their loved ones apartments too. This is the cruel thing about poverty and being on a program like this, the original person who was granted the rights cannot leave anything that they do not own!!! This is why people must change their mindsets and rise! We must work to become owners!!!! I will be very shocked if they allow him to stay.

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