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Eviction and Settlement Conference Training Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto Jason Tarricone Joyce Song.

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Presentation on theme: "Eviction and Settlement Conference Training Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto Jason Tarricone Joyce Song."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eviction and Settlement Conference Training Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto Jason Tarricone Joyce Song

2 Goals of CLSEPA’s Housing Practice Maintain and increase decent, safe, and affordable housing for low-income people on the Peninsula, with a focus on East Palo Alto; Maintain and increase decent, safe, and affordable housing for low-income people on the Peninsula, with a focus on East Palo Alto; Work with tenants to increase knowledge of their rights, and develop and refine problem-solving skills; Work with tenants to increase knowledge of their rights, and develop and refine problem-solving skills; Work with tenants to keep them in their homes and smooth their transition to new homes. Work with tenants to keep them in their homes and smooth their transition to new homes.

3 Overview of Training Example Cases Example Cases Anatomy of an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit Anatomy of an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit Grounds for Eviction and Common Defenses Grounds for Eviction and Common Defenses Types of Settlement Types of Settlement Settlement Considerations Settlement Considerations MSC Clinic – What to Expect MSC Clinic – What to Expect

4 What is an Unlawful Detainer? Expedited action for possession of premises Expedited action for possession of premises Priority in setting for trial Priority in setting for trial Possession is the only issue Possession is the only issue Eviction by sheriff by writ after judgment entered and writ issued Eviction by sheriff by writ after judgment entered and writ issued

5 Anatomy of a UD Notice to Quit/Vacate  Landlord files/serves Summons and Complaint  Tenant files Answer/Other Response or Tenant does nothing    LL files Memo to Set Case for Trial LL obtains default    T files Counter-Memorandum    Trial: set within 8-20 days of LL memo     Judgment for Tenant Judgment for LL  Writ of Possession  Sheriff posts Notice to Vacate  T files for stay of eviction Sheriff posts Notice to Vacate  T files for stay of eviction

6 Grounds for Eviction 30-day notice or 60-day notice (term 1 year plus) 30-day notice or 60-day notice (term 1 year plus) 60-day (mobilehome) or 14-day (public housing) 60-day (mobilehome) or 14-day (public housing) 90-day for eviction due to foreclosure 90-day for eviction due to foreclosure 3-day notice (in alternative if breach can be cured) 3-day notice (in alternative if breach can be cured) Non-Payment of Rent Non-Payment of Rent Notice to Cure Covenant or Quit Notice to Cure Covenant or Quit Incurable breach Incurable breach Commission of waste, nuisance, unlawful use of premises Commission of waste, nuisance, unlawful use of premises Dealing illegal drugs Dealing illegal drugs

7 Defenses to Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit The landlord refused to accept the rent offered in full The landlord refused to accept the rent offered in full The landlord accepted the rent The landlord accepted the rent Does tenant have a receipt? Does tenant have a receipt? The amount of rent demanded is even slightly greater than amount due The amount of rent demanded is even slightly greater than amount due Especially important in rent-stabilized jurisdictions! Especially important in rent-stabilized jurisdictions! Breach of the implied warranty of habitability Breach of the implied warranty of habitability Possibility of back-firing if premises not habitable Possibility of back-firing if premises not habitable

8 Defenses to 30- or 60-Day Notice Retaliation Retaliation Discrimination Discrimination In East Palo Alto, good cause required to evict In East Palo Alto, good cause required to evict Disability discrimination, including failure to provide a reasonable accommodation Disability discrimination, including failure to provide a reasonable accommodation Definition of disability: substantially limits a major life activity Definition of disability: substantially limits a major life activity -includes severe psychiatric disorders -inform Landlord in writing of accommodations needed

9 Defenses to 3-Day Notice to Quit / or to Cure or Quit Deny allegations Deny allegations Discrimination Discrimination Failure to accommodate disability Failure to accommodate disability Retaliation Retaliation

10 Settlement Timing: before or during litigation Timing: before or during litigation Most often at pre-trial Mandatory Settlement Conference Most often at pre-trial Mandatory Settlement Conference Happens every Thursday morning for cases going to trial the following Monday Happens every Thursday morning for cases going to trial the following Monday Another opportunity to settle before trial Monday morning Another opportunity to settle before trial Monday morning Factors Factors Does client want to move or have another place to move to? Does client want to move or have another place to move to? If client wants to stay, how much rent or amount due can client pay and by when? If client wants to stay, how much rent or amount due can client pay and by when? Trading additional time to vacate Trading additional time to vacate Strength of defenses Strength of defenses

11 Pay-and-Stay Settlement LL agrees to let tenant stay in exchange for tenant agreeing to pay what is due or cure lease violations LL agrees to let tenant stay in exchange for tenant agreeing to pay what is due or cure lease violations Is tenancy sustainable??? Is tenancy sustainable??? Tenant may have to pay LL’s fees and costs Tenant may have to pay LL’s fees and costs LL may agree to a payment plan and may agree to fix habitability problems LL may agree to a payment plan and may agree to fix habitability problems

12 Waive-and-Go Settlement AKA “move-out deal” AKA “move-out deal” Tenant agrees to move out by X date Tenant agrees to move out by X date Generally, longer stays will mean rent is not waived Generally, longer stays will mean rent is not waived More time may be better so that tenant can find a new home More time may be better so that tenant can find a new home Remember that if tenant loses at trial but has rent money, tenant can stay eviction for up to 40 days by paying pro-rated rent amount to Court Remember that if tenant loses at trial but has rent money, tenant can stay eviction for up to 40 days by paying pro-rated rent amount to Court

13 Sealing the Record Record is sealed for 60 days after filing of complaint Record is sealed for 60 days after filing of complaint Parties can agree to extend sealing or masking period Parties can agree to extend sealing or masking period Especially important for a move-out deal – tenant will be looking for a new place to live Especially important for a move-out deal – tenant will be looking for a new place to live Try to seal until 1 to 2 months after date of move out or final payment Try to seal until 1 to 2 months after date of move out or final payment

14 Structure of the Agreement Agreements are usually written as stipulations to be signed by the MSC judge Agreements are usually written as stipulations to be signed by the MSC judge Try to structure so that judgment is entered only upon default by tenant Try to structure so that judgment is entered only upon default by tenant If tenant complies, LL should dismiss the case If tenant complies, LL should dismiss the case Important to dismiss before record is unsealed Important to dismiss before record is unsealed Once signed, tenant appears before judge, who signs stipulation

15 Alternative to Settlement Trial is in four days Trial is in four days If tenant loses, Sheriff could enforce writ of possession in about 7 to 10 days If tenant loses, Sheriff could enforce writ of possession in about 7 to 10 days Record will be unsealed Record will be unsealed If tenant wins, and rent is owed, tenant will have to pay immediately If tenant wins, and rent is owed, tenant will have to pay immediately

16 Settlement Conference Materials Intake Sheet Intake Sheet Brief Services Agreement Brief Services Agreement Sample Stipulations Sample Stipulations Pay and Stay Pay and Stay Move Out Move Out Pink Sheet – Tenant Reminder Pink Sheet – Tenant Reminder

17 Questions? Clinic Details: Clinic Details: Every Thursday morning, 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon Every Thursday morning, 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon San Mateo Superior Court, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA San Mateo Superior Court, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA Bring quarters for meters!! Bring quarters for meters!! Contact us: Contact us: 650-326-6440 650-326-6440 jason@clsepa.org or jsong@clsepa.org jason@clsepa.org or jsong@clsepa.org jason@clsepa.orgjsong@clsepa.org jason@clsepa.orgjsong@clsepa.org


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