Heard in the Court of Appeals: August 11, 2014.
Appeal by plaintiff from order and judgment entered
29 August 2013 by Judge David B. Brantley in Wayne County District Court. No. 13 CVD 1197.
Ward and Smith, P.A., by Thomas E. Stroud, Jr., E. Bradley Evans, and Cheryl A. Marteney, for Plaintiff.
Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc., by John R. Keller, for Defendant.
ERVIN, Judge. Judges ELMORE and McCULLOUGH concur.
Plaintiff Eastern Carolina Regional Housing Authority appeals from a judgment denying its motion for summary judgment and its request to summarily eject Defendant Sherbreda Lofton from an apartment that she occupied under a lease agreement between herself and Plaintiff. On appeal, Plaintiff argues that the trial court erred by denying its request to summarily eject Defendant from the premises in question and by refusing to order that Plaintiff be put into possession of the premises instead. After careful consideration of Plaintiff's challenges to the trial court's judgment in light of the record and the applicable law, we conclude that the trial court's judgment should be affirmed.
I. Factual Background
A. Substantive Facts
Defendant is a resident of Brookside Manor, which is owned and operated by Plaintiff. Defendant began renting an apartment located in Brookside Manor, in which she lived with her three minor children, from Plaintiff in November 2011. Defendant regularly relied upon her friend, Corey Smith, to babysit for her children while she was at work.
On 26 April 2013, Defendant was scheduled to begin work at 11:00 p.m. As a result, Defendant asked Mr. Smith to babysit for her children. Mr. Smith arrived at Defendant's apartment several hours before 11:00 p.m. in order to permit Defendant to get some sleep before going to work. After his arrival, Defendant went to sleep in her bedroom while Mr. Smith and her children remained in the living room.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., Defendant was awakened by her daughter, who informed her that officers from the Goldsboro Police Department had arrested Mr. Smith. The officers in question had come to Defendant's apartment for the purpose of serving outstanding child support warrants upon Mr. Smith. In the course of serving ...