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6 FIX | Killeen tenant who was fined $960 for an unauthorized pet was not evicted

Johanna Rivera and Melissa Scotting were ready to fight their eviction case with the help of Lone Star Legal Aid. Their landlord suddenly dismissed the case.

KILLEEN, Texas — Johanna Rivera and Melissa Scotting nervously walked into Judge Bill Cook's court Wednesday morning. They were facing eviction. Their attorney, provided by Lone Star Legal Aid, sat in the front with Scotting. 

Judge Bill Cook started preceding, and asked landlord Clear Creek Rentals for their "prayer". 

The representatives for Clear Creek Rentals suddenly told the judge they wished to dismiss the case. 

Rivera was shocked but thankful. She would not be evicted today. 

On Aug. 3, Clear Creek Rentals sent tenants Johanna Rivera and Melissa Scotting a letter saying they owed $2293.68. Rivera's rent is listed as $800 on her lease. 

Rivera said additional fees for water or trash was typical, but the notice also listed "tenant violations" fines of $960 and $300. The first fine was because Rivera's baby sister had an unauthorized pet on the property, the second was because Clear Creek Rentals was claimed they had an additional tenant. 

Rivera and Scotting paid more than $1000 to cover the rent and other fees but the Clear Creek Rentals still moved forward with an eviction notice.

6 News interviewed Rivera about the issue last Friday and helped her get connected to Lone Start Legal Aid for help.   

Clear Creek Rentals refused to speak to 6 News about the allegations or the eviction. An office manager for the company simply said they would deal with the issue in court. 

Fast forward to Wednesday morning, Rivera and Scotting walked out of court with attorney Birdie Jones and 6 News Reporter Andrew Moore. Jones had been ready with multiple arguments, but didn't need to use them. 

"I wasn't expecting that at all. I thought there was going to be a whole argument in there. I don't know," Rivera told 6 News. 

It was not clear why the suit was suddenly dropped. Rivera said, according to her attorney, there may have been some issue with the eviction notice itself. Jones never had an opportunity to get into the details, and couldn't discuss the specifics afterwards.  

Rivera and Scotting told 6 News they still need to figure out how to how to break their lease, ask they want out of the Clear Creek Rentals property, but now they had time to figure it out. 

"I'm trying to move out as soon as possible, hopefully with no penalties, because I don't want to live there no more," Rivera said. 

6 News called and emailed Clear Creek Rentals again Wednesday but the company again did not respond to our questions. 

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