Steps Before Eviction:
In certain cases, communities receive a notice about upcoming eviction. However, in most cases these notices are either very inadequate, not served to the entire community or not served properly, and/or give barely any time to residents. Therefore, they do not serve the purpose of a notice. There is a pressing need to act immediately upon receipt of a notice, and to get the below mentioned documentation in order. In these cases, the following may be done:
- ORGANIZE A COMMUNITY MEETING AS SOON AS NOTICE IS RECEIVED TO REACH CONSENSUS ON PLAN OF ACTION
As soon as the notice is received by any member of the community, please conduct a community meeting with as many members of the community as possible so as to mobilize the community and ensure that there is no panic among members of the community. It is very important to have solidarity and agreement within the community for higher chances of success.
- APPROACH THE LOCAL MLA/ POLICE/ NGO/ ACTIVISTS FOR MORE INFORMATION
Approach a local NGO/activists/MLA/local police station who can help in gathering further credible information about the notice, and assist in determining course for further action.
- APPROACH A LAWYER WITH THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS & TRY TO OBTAIN A STAY ORDER URGENTLY :
Approach a lawyer with collected information (for contact information of Activists, Lawyers, & NGOs, visit CONTACTS). For the first meeting with the lawyer, please carry the following documents:
- Government Identity documents and proof of residence before 2015, like Voter ID Cards, Ration Cards, Telephone or Electricity Bills, Birth Certificate (of adults or/and children), School Leaving Certificate, etc.
- A copy of the notice, including any prior notices received.
- Any information about the land owning agency. History of the community and how it came to settle at the site.
- Documents or details of past litigation or advocacy with the government, if any.
- Any other ownership or land documentation that may be available.
- Identify community members who can be petitioners in case urgent legal action needs to be taken. It is important for these identified individuals to be present during meetings with the lawyer.
It is important to obtain a Stay Order, normally from the High Court, on the operation of the notice, which would prevent the evicting agency to carry out demolition.