Clinical Professor Emerita Judith Fox co-authors Eviction Court Watch Study

Author: Notre Dame Law School

Judith Fox
ND Law Professor Emerita Judy Fox

Clinical Professor Emerita Judith Fox recently co-authored an eviction court watch study, “Coding Evictions: St. Joseph County Eviction Court Watch Study.”

The study samples 655 evictions in St. Joseph County, Indiana and analyzes the imbalance of landlord-tenant relationships under Indiana law in small claims courts.

According to Fox, safe, affordable housing is crucial for thriving communities. In residential leases, landlords must provide units that meet health and safety standards, while tenants must pay rent. However, she states, the balance often favors landlords, especially in Indiana, limiting tenants' ability to assert defenses. Indiana's legal system, coupled with small claims court procedural shortcuts, significantly limit a tenants' ability to assert defenses and claims, placing them at a disadvantage when landlords breach contractual obligations.

Fox served on the Notre Dame Law School faculty for 25 years and dedicated her legal career to fighting for fair housing and other socioeconomic issues. She ran the Law School’s Economic Justice Clinic, a clinical program focusing on consumer law issues primarily related to housing, since its inception. Throughout that time, she supervised hundreds of Notre Dame Law students as they represented clients, whose incomes made it difficult for them to obtain counsel, in cases involving mortgage foreclosures, fraud, predatory lending, land contract scams, foreclosure rescue scams, and debt collection. She also taught courses on consumer law, alternative dispute resolution, and ethics.