Summary Judgment Contract Landlord-tenant.

Byline: Derek Hawkins

WI Court of Appeals District IV

Case Name: Kimesha Williams v. District Council of Madison Inc.,

Case No.: 2020AP1329

Officials: Blanchard, Kloppenburg, and Graham, JJ.

Focus: Summary Judgment Contract Landlord-tenant

The District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul ("the Society") and Kimesha Williams entered into a contract. Under the contract, the Society permitted Williams to occupy a unit in a residential facility owned and managed by the Society. The parties also agreed that Williams would participate in a program that the Society ran, which was aimed at helping women without ready access to stable housing find better housing situations in the future. The program called for Society staff to educate, counsel, and otherwise assist Williams within the facility's controlled environment. Five months after Williams moved into the unit, the Society terminated her from the program and required her to vacate the unit she occupied.

In this action, Williams claims that, under Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws, the Society and Williams had a landlord-tenant relationship. According to Williams, when the Society removed her from the unit it violated laws regarding the eviction procedures that apply to landlords. The Society moved for summary judgment and Williams moved for partial summary judgment. The Society did not contest that it did not follow the judicial eviction procedures in the landlord-tenant laws. But it argued that it did not have to follow the procedures, because the legal relationship here was that of a program manager and a program participant, not of a landlord and a tenant. The circuit court agreed with the Society, and as a result granted summary judgment in its favor, denied Williams's partial motion for summary judgment, and dismissed the...

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