When Jessica Stearns placed a Black Lives Matter poster, similar to this one, in her apartment window, her landlord demanded she get out. (SteveChristensen / Getty Images)

A Minnesota landlord ordered his tenant to remove a Black Lives Matter poster from the window of her apartment. When she refused, he told her she was getting kicked out.

Jessica Kearns of Roseville, Minn., claims she received a text message from her landlord, Barry Star, who gave her 60 days to vacate. When she asked him for a reason, he offered no response.

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“He never had a problem or a complaint with me in the 14 months I’ve been here,” Kearns told Star Tribune. “Then two days after I stick up for myself and tell him that there’s nothing in the lease that says I can’t put up a sign, he wants me out.”

Now, Kearns, a single mother of two, says she’s ready to take Star to court.

But the landlord claims to have received complaints about the tenant and her kids in the months prior asking her to go.

A City Council member is proposing a study for a “just cause for eviction” ordinance, which would require landlords to state the reason to vacate.

“This just seems like a discrimination issue, and right now we don’t really have any teeth to do anything at the city,” said Roseville City Concil member Tammy McGehee. “We should look at it.”

Muddying the waters is that Kearns was on a month-to-month lease, which could give the landlord more discretion to evict, said real estate lawyer Kirk Tisher.

“You could make that argument — that putting up that sign is just the tenant exercising the right to use the property and that the landlord didn’t like it,” said Tisher. “But in court, that could get ugly. In the end, it would depend on what the referee says.”

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