Tulsa has the 11th highest eviction rate among American cities, with more than 14,000 cases filed each year and 7,000 granted. Evictions have enormous, long-term destabilizing effects on families, and cities and counties spend millions each year to address the emergency needs of displaced residents. Some cities and states have begun providing legal representation to all tenants who have an eviction filed against them in order to protect their rights and reduce displacement.
This research brief examines the relationship of legal representation and eviction case outcomes in Tulsa County. Statistical analysis of data collected by Open Justice Oklahoma of eviction cases in Tulsa County from 2010 through 2020 shows that legal representation is significantly associated with greater odds of a tenant remaining in their home.
This research brief examines the impact of legal representation on small claims eviction outcomes in Tulsa County District Court using data collected from online court records. To estimate the effect size of legal representation on eviction judgments in Tulsa County, we use a binary classification model with two binary predictors and one binary outcome variable. The predictors indicate whether or not a plaintiff has legal representation, and whether a defendant has representation. A value of zero indicates no representation, or a pro se case, while a value of one indicates that the party is represented in court. The outcome variable of the model indicates whether the case disposition results in a judgment against the tenant. A value of zero indicates a judgment favorable to the tenant, whereas a value of one indicates a case outcome which results in eviction.