An 88-year-old Stratford woman appears to have won a reprieve from being evicted from her home of more than 50 years after her family testified she has become a burden to them.

The state Appellate Court on Friday ruled that Maria Michaels must get a new hearing on her plea to remain in her home because the trial judge had improperly dismissed one of her defense arguments without a hearing.

“She was denied her due process right,” said Michaels’ lawyer, Charles Kurmay.

He said she will now get another chance to reargue part of her defense. “This appears to be a reprieve,” Kurmay said.

In January 2020, Michaels was given until April 2020 by a judge to vacate her Rosebrook Drive home. The eviction was later postponed because of the pandemic.

In May 1999, without the benefit of a lawyer, Michaels, her husband now dead, agreed to sell her Rosebrook Drive home to her nephew, Jan Hlinkas, and his wife, Beata Hlinkas for $165,000 with the written agreement that she “would reside there as long as she does not become a burden to her nephew and niece.” At the time, the house was appraised by the town for more than $220,000.

But in January 2020, the Hlinkas said they had enough and filed court papers to evict Michaels.

Their lawyer, Kevin Curseaden, did not return calls and emails for comment on the Appellate Court’s decision.

The appeals court ruled that when the trial judge issued a blanket decision to dismiss Michaels’ defenses to the eviction, he did so without properly considering her defense that the Hlinkas had waited too long to file the eviction.