LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Judge Herbert Wright, 4th Division Circuit Court Judge in Pulaski County, ruled Wednesday that the failure to vacate statute is unconstitutional.
Arkansas has received national attention for this previous statute from Human Rights Watch with their report “Pay the Rent or Face Arrest: Abusive Impacts of Arkansas's Criminal Evictions Law." Also unique to Arkansas, landlords are not responsible for keeping a safe and livable resident for tenants.
Now, Arkansas tenants can no longer become convicted criminals for failing to pay their rent on time.
"Arkansas has been on the wrong side of history when it comes to treating citizens of the state equally," said Stacy Fletcher, a staff attorney with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services. "The failure to vacate statute was solely designed to intimidate renters into giving up their rights to a trial."