Howard’s story prompts quick eviction

IRVINGTON, N.J. — For Marge El, the stressful ordeal is finally over. The tenants she’s been trying to evict are finally gone.

We told you about her plight last week. She has a four-apartment home where she also lives in Irvington, New Jersey.

Last May, she rented an apartment to Darnell Harris and Karissa Norton. But they stopped paying rent, even though Harris had a good job. After getting a run-around in court, El came to me.

“I’m crestfallen. I’m now five months behind in rent. I can’t even afford an attorney to help me get them out,” El told me.

So, I paid a visit. And Norton gave me an unbelievable explanation of why they hadn’t paid rent.

“I’m not working anything out with her. I don’t like her. Don’t let her fool you, Howard," Norton said.

It appears people in the Essex County courts saw our story, because a judge immediately stopped payment on a rent check the tenants had deposited with the court and the case got right back on the docket for Jan. 23.

In the courtroom, the tenants made it clear they weren’t fond of our story, especially calling them squatters when they’d put $2,000 in escrow with the court as back rent, although El said they owed a lot more.

El was given a choice of accepting the money and letting Harris and Norton stay until the end of December. But she wanted them out and the ordeal over. Little did she know this would drag on for another month anyway.

But in the courtroom Tuesday, Judge Dennis Carey wasted no time and laid down the law.

“You gotta be out of her apartment tomorrow. So, you’re out. It is over. Complete. Done with," he said.

Case closed.

Harris and Norton got out the following afternoon.

For once, the wheels of justice turned quickly.