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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dealing with Squatters and the CA Courts

So, I had my day in court today for the MSJ (motion summary judgement). The tenant, who now suddenly needs a cane to walk, but didn't the 2 times I met with him before, and his wife showed up. The wife lied her ass off. Quite amazing. She said she has a rental agreement, but it is packed away in boxes somewhere. The only answer to the MSJ is a valid rental contract which she failed to produce. That should have been the end of it right there. And she claims she paid her rent on the 28th to her other landlord (her mom). I have an estoppel from her mom saying there is no rental agreement and that there is no rent being paid. She also told the judge that every time I talked to her it was only "Get out, get out, get out." I only spoke to her once and that was before I even opened escrow. The conversation was quite pleasant. She then said I never asked about a lease or requested any rent. I had my phone records showing I called several times, but the calls were only 1 min as I only got voice mail and never received a call back. I sent her an estoppel with a self addressed, stamped priority mail envelope, but on one of my two visits to the house, her husband told me she wasn't going to mail it back to me.

The judge made the mistake several times about the time line for notices which my attorney kept correcting him on. He said several times that the posting had to be 9 days: 3 days notice, plus 5 days for mail, and then some other random B.S. about notice procedures. The attorney asked him where he came up with 5 days for mail and the judge said that 5 days should be considered a reasonable time to expect mail to arrive. He added, "We can have a gentleman's disagreement on that one." He also kept stating that "As a foreclosure" and the attorney corrected him multiple times that it wasn't a foreclosure. It was obvious the judge was looking for any reason he could to side with the tenants.

After, I was talking with my attorney in the hall and this other attorney came over and was visibly upset that the judge made those comments. She was quite unhappy with the proceedings, very verbal about, and she wasn't even my attorney. Then she told me this judge hates MSJs and was fishing for any reason not to side with me. The only fun part was when my attorney told the judge they are squatters.

I think if I were to go this route again, I'd skip the MSJ. I can't imagine any CA judge siding with the plaintiff on an MSJ. And I did try cash for keys before we went down this road, but the wife made it clear they weren't leaving. Just thought I'd share the experience in case any of you were thinking of going this route if you have an eviction with scumbag squatters to deal with. So, what I've learned from this experience is that there are some advantages to living in a third world country. :)

1 comment:

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