State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_42 > GS_42-64

§42‑64.  Affirmative defense or exemption to a complete eviction.

(a)        AffirmativeDefense. – The court shall refrain from ordering the complete eviction of atenant pursuant to G.S. 42‑63(a) where the tenant has established thatthe tenant was not involved in the criminal activity and that:

(1)        The tenant did notknow or have reason to know that criminal activity was occurring or wouldlikely occur on or within the individual rental unit, that the individualrental unit was used in any way in furtherance of or to promote criminalactivity, or that any member of the tenant's household or any guest has engagedin criminal activity on or in the immediate vicinity of any portion of theentire premises; or

(2)        The tenant had doneeverything that could reasonably be expected under the circumstances to preventthe commission of the criminal activity, such as requesting the landlord toremove the offending household member's name from the lease, reporting priorcriminal activity to appropriate law enforcement authorities, seekingassistance from social service or counseling agencies, denying permission, iffeasible, for the offending household member to reside in the unit, or seekingassistance from church or religious organizations.

Notwithstanding the court'sdenial of eviction of the tenant, if the plaintiff has proven that an evictableoffense under G.S. 42‑63 was committed by someone other than the tenant,the court shall order such other relief as the court deems appropriate toprotect the interests of the landlord and neighbors of the tenant, includingthe partial eviction of the culpable household members pursuant to G.S. 42‑63(b)and conditional eviction orders under G.S. 42‑63(c).

(b)        SubsequentAffirmative Defense to a Complete Eviction. – The affirmative defense set forthin subsection (a) of this section shall not be available to a tenant in asubsequent action brought pursuant to this Article unless the tenant canestablish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable person could haveforeseen the occurrence of the subsequent criminal activity or that the tenanthad done everything reasonably expected under the circumstances to prevent thecommission of the second criminal activity.

(c)        Exemption. – Wherethe grounds for a complete eviction have been established, the court shallorder the eviction of the tenant unless, taking into account the circumstancesof the criminal activity and the condition of the tenant, the court is clearlyconvinced that immediate eviction or removal would be a serious injustice, theprevention of which overrides the need to protect the rights, safety, andhealth of the other tenants and residents of the leased residential premises.The burden of proof for the exemption set forth shall be by clear andconvincing evidence. (1995, c. 419, s. 1.)