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Eviction and Settlement Conference Training

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Presentation on theme: "Eviction and Settlement Conference Training"— 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; 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.

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

4 What is an Unlawful Detainer?
Expedited action for possession of premises Priority in setting for trial Possession is the only issue 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

6 Grounds for Eviction 30-day notice or 60-day notice (term 1 year plus)
60-day (mobilehome) or 14-day (public housing) 90-day for eviction due to foreclosure 3-day notice (in alternative if breach can be cured) Non-Payment of Rent Notice to Cure Covenant or Quit Incurable breach Commission of waste, nuisance, unlawful use of premises 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 accepted the rent Does tenant have a receipt? The amount of rent demanded is even slightly greater than amount due Especially important in rent-stabilized jurisdictions! Breach of the implied warranty of habitability Possibility of back-firing if premises not habitable

8 Defenses to 30- or 60-Day Notice
Retaliation Discrimination In East Palo Alto, good cause required to evict Disability discrimination, including failure to provide a reasonable accommodation 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 Discrimination Failure to accommodate disability Retaliation

10 Settlement Timing: before or during litigation Factors
Most often at pre-trial Mandatory Settlement Conference Happens every Thursday morning for cases going to trial the following Monday Another opportunity to settle before trial Monday morning Factors 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? Trading additional time to vacate 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 Is tenancy sustainable??? Tenant may have to pay LL’s fees and costs LL may agree to a payment plan and may agree to fix habitability problems

12 Waive-and-Go Settlement
AKA “move-out deal” Tenant agrees to move out by X date Generally, longer stays will mean rent is not waived 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

13 Sealing the Record Record is sealed for 60 days after filing of complaint 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 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 Try to structure so that judgment is entered only upon default by tenant If tenant complies, LL should dismiss the case 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 If tenant loses, Sheriff could enforce writ of possession in about 7 to 10 days Record will be unsealed If tenant wins, and rent is owed, tenant will have to pay immediately

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

17 Questions? Clinic Details: Contact us:
Every Thursday morning, 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon San Mateo Superior Court, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA Bring quarters for meters!! Contact us: or

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