Even though a landlord thinks there is cause to evict a tenant, the tenant may decide to fight the eviction. An eviction attorney will study your particular case to determine if you have defenses available to stop eviction or prevent the landlord from collecting back pay. Some defenses may include, the landlord made a procedural mistakes during the eviction (such as, improperly serving a notice of eviction on you or not waiting long enough before filing the eviction lawsuit against you.) Other potential defenses include the landlord’s failure to maintain the rental unit according to law, the landlord attempting to evict you in retaliation for making a complaint about the property (retaliatory eviction), the landlord discriminating against the tenant (it illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant based on creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status), the landlord making illegal alterations to the property, and other grounds that may be available to you. If the Judge is convinced you have a legal defense, the Judge may prevent the landlord from evicting you or collecting back pay and may dismiss the eviction case. In some instances, tenants have delayed the eviction process for years because of available defenses. Each eviction case is unique and requires an independent evaluation to determine defenses that may be available to you.