Hunter College in Manhattan has filed a lawsuit against 32-year-old Lisa Palmer, saying the former student owes more than $94,000 in unpaid residence hall fees for staying in her dorm room since dropping out in 2016.

The college is seeking to evict Palmer and collect back rent, maintaining she has been illegally squatting in her dorm room. According to the lawsuit, Palmer was denied summer housing in 2016 but remained in her dorm, even after the school sent her several notices stating that she would be charged $150 a day if she stayed and issued her a 30-day eviction notice in September 2017.

According to the lawsuit, the 32-year-old Palmer failed to pay her student fees “almost immediately” after moving into her dormitory apartment at Brookdale Residence Hall on E. 25th St., in Spring 2016 and by July had received notices to vacate on account of her failure to pay fees or enroll in courses: “Not only did Palmer refuse to vacate her dormitory room in order to make room for incoming, eligible students enrolled at Hunter College, but she dropped out of Hunter College, making her ineligible for student housing in any event.”

In an interview with WCBS, Palmer — a geography major — said she had been forced out of classes in her final semester and plans to stay in the dorm and finish her degree:

“I feel like every semester is a new opportunity to register for courses,” she said. “I think I should just stay and fight the case.”

Palmer claims the school forced her out of classes – a semester before graduating – when she couldn’t pay her bills.

“I don’t think paying it off is realistic, and I also don’t believe that I should have to pay it off,” she told Grymes.

She disputes the charges and continues to live there, while working two jobs.

Palmer says she plans to stay put and hopes to eventually finish her degree at Hunter College.

A Hunter College spokesperson said the school cannot comment on pending litigation.

WCBS.   “Woman, 32, Accused of Squatting Inside Hunter College Dormitory.”
    1 March 2018.

Associated Press.   “College Sues Former Student Who Refuses to Leave Dorm.”
    2 March 2018.

Brown, Stephen Rex.   “She Drops Out from Hunter College But Continues Staying in Her Dorm.”
[New York] Daily News.   28 February 2018.

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