VICTORY: On February 20, 2024, the Colorado Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s opinion, holding that a tenant asserting their landlord engaged in unlawful discrimination as an affirmative defense to an eviction.

Miller is a single mother of a young child facing eviction. She attempted to raise an affirmative defense, alleging that her landlord, Jesse Amos, sexually harassed her and that after she rejected his sexual advances, Amos filed a retaliatory eviction in violation of the Colorado and federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). The county court held that a month-to-month tenancy could be terminated for “any reason” and fair housing law violations could not be raised as an affirmative defense. On appeal, the district court affirmed. The amicus brief explains how preventing victims of sexual harassment from raising harassment as a defense to a state eviction court action undermines the purpose and effect of civil rights laws and greenlights evictions by property owners who engage in or sanction harassment, and, accordingly, the Supreme Court of Colorado should reverse.