There are landlord/tenant court cases that involve broken families, desperate people and lives in real turmoil.
Then there was the Kenya Moore/ landlord dispute that popped up at the Fulton County magistrate court Tuesday.
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member Tuesday showed up in a bright yellow "Gone With the Wind" fabulous dress and leopard skin shoes for the hearing to address last month's eviction from her Roswell rental home.
Her landlord Conya Dillon Weemshad filed papers to boot her from the home for not paying her entire May rent: $848 in alleged past late fees and utility bills, plus $4,500 in late fees, pool and lawn service fees and an eviction fee.
Moore's attorney Marcia Fuller did not show up to a June 18 eviction hearing and Weems won writ of possession. This led to a raft of media stories about Moore being evicted. But Fuller told the court she hadn't received the hearing date information in the mail. Apparently, the court had sent the notification to the wrong address, which she proved in court.
Moore was able to get this rescheduled hearing and an opportunity to overturn the eviction.
When Moore moved to Atlanta to shoot the Bravo reality show in late May from Los Angeles, she found Weems' rental home for $3,999 a month and leased it for one year. According to the lease, Weems had to give Moore 60 days advance notice to move out.
Weems wanted Moore to leave by the end of May so she could move back into her home. But she asked Moore to depart in writing on May 10, which meant Moore had until July 10 to leave. Moore, who began moving out this morning, requested an extra day and magistrate judge Louis Levenson gave it to her. So she'll be out of Weems' home by Thursday, July 11.
Weems was not at the hearing. Her attorney Linecia Gilmore told the judge how Moore had compiled 15 lease violations over the previous year, including a variety of alleged late rent and utility payments. At one point, Gilmore said Weems had rejected a May 3 payment in rent from Moore because it was late. But judge looked at the lease and said rent wasn't technically late until the 6th of the month.
The judge also wasn't impressed with the $848 in alleged unpaid utilities (including a $71.48 Cobb EMC bill) and late fees from the original May 24 complaint to evict. He said the lease did not say when such fees were considered late. Moore’s' attorney said Moore did pay all utilities through May.
About 30 minutes in, after Levenson found out that Moore was going to move out anyway, he mused, "These ladies don't like each other, do they? Nobody goes to court over $71.48."
Levenson had no idea who Moore was until someone whispered in his ear midway through the hearing. "Why anyone would be fascinated by this case escapes me," he said. He then urged the two parties to resolve this without more court action. "A bad settlement is better than a good judgment," he said.
But since Moore has not officially moved out, it was premature to square away what Moore owes Weems. A hearing is set for July 18 to hash that out.
Moore had given Weems a $6,000 security deposit and that will be at issue July 18 as well as an alleged violation of the lease when Moore painted a couple of walls.
In an interview after the hearing, which didn't get started until 6 p.m. and ended around 6:50 p.m., Moore said she was happy that the judge appeared to find the case as frivolous as she did.
"The whole situation was embarrassing. I don't want to stay where I'm not wanted," she said. "There are plenty of great places in Atlanta for me to move to."
She wouldn't say where she's moving next for privacy reasons, saying she was annoyed when someone posted her current address online.
And Levenson's plea to the two women to just settle things outside of court will likely go unheeded.
Moore's attorney Fuller said they plan to file a counterclaim against Weems for defamation of character, slander and wrongful eviction.
Moore said she and Weems were friendly at first. "She even showed up on the show," she said. "Things changed. She became vindictive."
And given her current profile, Moore said it's difficult to find trustworthy people. "It's part of my life now," she said with a sigh.
Then she smiled for the cameras, punched the air and twirled in signature Moore fashion. "Today," she said, "is a win."
I reached out to Weems via text. She responded:
Isaiah 54:17 sums it up for me! God's word will not come back void! I take possession of the home that I own. I am not critical of renting at all - just Kenya for being a pathological liar she is. I tried to help her when she begged to lease it. I thought I could be a blessing to her and she took advantage of my kindness. She will not steal my joy and never will I ever compromise my integrity. I have class and I'm happy. Behind the smile and camera, she is lonely, classless, bitter and miserable. No amount of money can buy the qualities she lacks. GOD's word will not come back void. Kenya's fame that she is trying so desperately to reach will not last and it comes with a cost - lost credibility and negativity. Nothing she says or does will ever take away the joy I have. I am thankful to my family and friends for their endless support and prayers. To be continued on the 18th!