July 11, 2008

US District Court Rules in Favor of Kentucky Landlord

On 06/27/08, William Jerry Hadden, a Kentucky landlord who faced 62 charges in US District Court of renting apartments without verifying the immigration status of the future tenants, was found not guilty on all charges.

The trial is thought to be the first time the federal government has prosecuted a landlord for renting to undocumented immigrants, defense attorneys said in court filings.

Hadden’s defense attorneys steadfastly maintained his innocence and claimed that the federal government was twisting the intent of harboring laws, which they say were intended to target human traffickers or employers who are trying to hide their work forces. They further noted that it is not illegal to rent to undocumented immigrants, and Hadden therefore had no legal obligation to check any tenant’s immigration status.

The court agreed with the defense and ruled that there had to be evidence that the defendant intended to violate the immigration laws by concealing or hiding tenants.

AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08070968 (posted Jul. 9, 2008)