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Earlier in the day, Judge Joan Zeldon made one thing perrrrrrfectly clear to her courtroom: You need an interpreter, you’ll get an interpreter.
But just because said interpreter arrives, doesn’t mean he or she will be able to make sense of things.
Case in point: Gulzar Hussain and his son Anwaar Hussain, both Pakistani-born, arrived at the courthouse bright and early to deal with a claim for nearly $40,000 in unpaid back rent to a Georgia Avenue property.
Now, at least five hours later, they’re at a deadlock with Hussain’s tenant.
The tenant—-a Ghanian woman, who didn’t want her name revealed—-says Hussain’s lying about the amount of back rent. She’s missed three and a half months of rent, roughly $10,000. A month and a half ago, she was hit by car, and was forced to close her restaurant, which operates on the ground-floor of Hussain’s property.
The woman, who walks with crutches and pulled up her pant-leg to reveal a bandaged knee, says (through the help of a friend) that her lawyers told her to close her restaurant so she won’t further injure herself. She’s suing the driver that struck her, and expects a settlement soon. Then, she’ll pay Hussain.
She has no idea where the $40,000 claim comes from. But Hussain’s tricky with money, she says. In the past, he’s refused to give her receipts, her friend says.
The entire story’s baloney, according to Hussain (speaking through his interpreter Faisal Khan, who drove in from Urbana Maryland this morning). For their entire landlord/tenant relationship, the tenant has constantly cried and made excuses, and only paid part of the rent. In the past, according to Hussain, she’s stated that she had a house in D.C. for sale. She’d paid him when the home sold. And now, she keeps talking about how she’ll be flush with cash when her car accident court case concludes and she gets a settlement.
Everything’s on hold for now though. Hussain didn’t fill out his paperwork properly. So he’s dropping his case and filing a new one—-this time, with a lawyer, most likely.