Jared Kushner’s name could rise to a new level of infamy.
A Maryland lawmaker has introduced the "Jared Kushner Act," a bill that would bar judges in the state from issuing civil arrest warrants for tenants being sued for less than $5,000 in unpaid rent, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.
The bill named comes five months after an analysis by the newspaper revealed Kushner's family real estate business Kushner Companies was Maryland’s most aggressive landlord in obtaining civil arrest warrants for tenants it sued over unpaid rent.
“Government has always developed policies to financially protect wealthy institutions such as the Bank Bailout of 2008,” Bilal Ali, a delegate in Baltimore, told The Sun. “On the flip side, regressive policies that hurt and even incarcerate the poor have historically been the norm. This bill prohibits policies that were developed to hurt poor communities and jail poor residents.”
Kushner Companies affiliates filed at least 1,250 legal actions in the state from 2013 through August 2017, according to the Sun. Judges awarded $5.4 million in judgements against tenants who owed an average of $4,400.
Corporate entities affiliated with Kushner Companies since 2013 have sought the civil arrest of 105 ex-tenants for not appearing in court to face unpaid debt allegations—the most for any landlord in Maryland over that time period—and court records obtained by the Sun indicated that 20 former Kushner tenants have been detained.
Kushner Companies officials said the firm issues warrants as a last resort to get tenants to answer claims about money allegedly owed. The company's spokeswoman Chris Taylor Wednesday told Newsweek Wednesday that its in-state counsel handled the real estate matters "consistent with other attorneys in similar situations there and in accordance with Maryland law."
"It is clear that this proposed bill with its proposed name is politically motivated,” she stated. “For a couple of local politicians to sponsor a bill called the Jared Kushner Act when neither Kushner Companies nor Jared Kushner, when he worked at Kushner Companies, had anything to do with these issues is petty."
Kushner resigned as CEO of Kushner Companies to become a senior White House advisor to his father-in-law President Donald Trump, but still holds a financial stake in the business.