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2008.040.010 Oral History Interview with Han Ho Tran March 13, 2008

Mr. Tran emigrated from Vietnam and settled in Brooklyn, New York in 1990, three years after which he opened a family grocery business. Even though he had contracted a five-year lease that was projected to last until 2003, a new landlord took over the building in 1999 at which time Tran received an eviction notice. Ultimately, after seven years of successfully running his grocery business, Tran lost his grocery store—and with it his source of income—over a rent dispute. According to Tran and his attorney, he presented all necessary documentation in court to prove that he was leasing only one property space and had paid his monthly rent in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, Trans initial trial attorney specialized in criminal law not tenant and landlord disputes, and Tran was overruled after his new landlord produced two fraudulent documents which claimed that Tran had agreed to lease two property spaces and was thus deficient in one of the rent payments. Tran was evicted and lost all of his business property and assets, which were confiscated by the new landlord. He has spent the last seven years fighting the case with little success. During his interview, Tran vocalizes his concerns regarding business closures, informing residents about their rights, and achieving a fair justice system. Tran believes this is a common situation in Chinatown today but that few are willing to fight as he has done.