A Democratic state lawmaker from Baltimore has introduced a bill that would prohibit Maryland judges from issuing civil arrest warrants for tenants being sued for less than $5,000 in unpaid rent — the “Jared Kushner Act.”

Del. Bilal Ali’s proposed legislation comes five months after The Baltimore Sun reported that the apartment management company owned by Kushner, son-in-law and top adviser to President Donald Trump, was the most aggressive landlord in Maryland in obtaining civil arrest warrants called “body attachments” against tenants.

Ali’s bill seeks to curb the controversial debt-collection tactic that other lawmakers failed to limit last year even with the support of Attorney General Brian Frosh. The bill proposes that courts “may not issue a body attachment for a tenant who is a defendant in a landlord-tenant action in which the amount of rent claimed does not exceed $5,000, exclusive of interest and costs.”

Kushner affiliates had filed at least 1,250 legal actions in the state from 2013 through August last year, The Sun’s analysis showed. Judges awarded a total of $5.4 million in judgments against tenants who owed an average of $4,400, The Sun found. That included the original debts, plus lawyers’ fees, court costs and interest.

Since 2013 — the first full year in which the Kushner Cos.’ Westminster Management began managing 17 apartment complexes in Maryland — corporate entities affiliated with the firm sought the civil arrest of 105 former tenants for failing to appear in court to face allegations of unpaid debt, more than any other landlord in the state over that time.

“Regressive policies that hurt and even incarcerate the poor have historically been the norm. This bill prohibits policies that were developed to hurt poor communities and jail poor residents,” Ali told The Sun.

Landlords have said that body attachments are often the only way to get tenants to come to court to answer claims about money they allegedly owe.

“Our local counsel in Maryland handled these matters consistent with other attorneys in similar situations there and in accordance with Maryland law,” said Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Kushner Cos. “A body attachment is issued by a court for the failure to abide by two court orders, and is not in any way related to the ability or failure of a debtor to pay a debt. ...

“It is clear that this proposed bill with its proposed name is politically motivated,” she added. “For a couple of local politicians to sponsor a bill called the Jared Kushner Act when neither Kushner Companies nor Jared Kushner, when he worked at Kushner Companies, had anything to do with these issues is petty.”

Kushner was CEO of the Kushner Cos., the parent company of Westminster Management, from 2008 until Jan. 19, 2017, when he stepped down to join the Trump administration. He retains ownership.

Sen. Wayne Norman, an attorney who represents landlords, said judges approve body attachments only after tenants repeatedly ignore court orders to show up to address the debt. “It doesn’t matter about the dollar amount,” the Harford County Republican said. “If it’s a $50 debt, you still have to obey a court order.”