Judge grants eviction against St. Peters woman too sick from COVID-19 to be allowed in courthouse

February 12, 2021

Sommai Peterson has been in the battle of her life for months. In December 2020, she was diagnosed with COVID-19, and couldn't work her Amazon job until she got better. Bills started to pile up.

"I just couldn't afford paying the rent," Peterson said. "I had to figure out how to get my car fixed, and [it was] either the car or pay the rent. So I need a car, you know, to go to work."
Peterson says she spent much of 2020 recovering from Cancer and other illnesses that left her struggling to make ends meet. When she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December, she was already several months behind on her rent.

Before her COVID-19 symptoms had even subsided, Peterson's landlord filed for eviction in St. Charles County circuit court. It's one of only a few courts in the area where eviction proceedings are still moving forward, without a blanket moratorium.

"I still have the symptoms, you know, coughing and sneezing," Peterson said. 

When Peterson went to the courthouse in January, security asked screening questions to see if she could be allowed inside. She was honest about her ongoing symptoms and court staff told her she couldn't come in for her hearing.

The staffers told her she would still get her chance to talk to a judge.

"That's what she said, call the courts and you'll find out when your next court date is. That's what she said," Peterson remembered.

That isn't what actually happened.

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