The police officers, Chandler says, were simply following the law when they arrested Levy, and the fact that tenants invited her onto the property was not a consideration.
But Robert Doggett, an attorney with Legal Services of North Texas, questions the department's actions in this case. Apartment dwellers, he says, can delegate the right to be on the property to their guests, and unless those guests are engaging in activities that break the complex's rules or the tenant's lease, landlords cannot refuse to allow them onto the property simply because they don't want them there.
"What police are suggesting violates the penal code in terms of what is criminal trespass," says Doggett. "I don't know why they're so hot to trot to arrest people that aren't doing anything but trying to inform tenants of their right to try and change some of the conditions that they have to endure."
A jury will decide Levy's fate at her trial for a Class B misdemeanor charge on April 20th. "Obviously," she says, "Hughes and company have things that they're trying to hide. Otherwise, I cannot understand why they would feel so threatened by tenants forming a meeting without them being present.