imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The UD Shuffle | Not Like Perry Mason

by Dave Crow Wednesday, Oct. 07, 2009 at 5:09 AM

If you are representing yourself in unlawful detainer, imagine an episode where Perry isn’t familiar with the rules, the judge hates him and Hamilton Burger has a perfect record. If you truly want to save your tenancy, the business decision you make to defend your eviction should include an allocation of funds to hire a tenant lawyer.


Perry Mason and all TV lawyer crime dramas would be boring as hell if they documented all of the steps between indictment (summons in unlawful detainer) and trial. These blog articles cannot take the place of a good practice guide. If you are in California and you want to check out an abbreviated guide to unlawful detainer procedure, go to the local law library and take a look at the California Practice Guide: Landlord Tenant, published by the Rutter Group. I say abbreviated because an unlawful detainer is overlaid with general procedural requirements as well.
Demand a jury trial.
Perry Mason didn’t really need a jury because the murderer always confessed, but Perry always had one. I think it is important to demand a jury trial. The demand should be served with the answer. It puts the plaintiff on notice that you’re willing to go all the way. I have found that jury trial demands are very useful when defending foreclosure cases, because the attorneys representing the banks are not used to defendants doing anything. Imagine their chagrin when they realize they might have to actually go to a jury trial in Fresno, when their firm is located in San Diego. The bean counters at the bank don’t want to spend any more money than they have to. A jury demand can be a good tool to begin settlement negotiations.
Interrogatories, requests for admissions, document production
The rest of the steps of the UD Shuffle mostly concern evidence gathering. An unlawful detainer defendant has the right to see the evidence that will be used against her. In civil cases one can gather the evidence using a number of methods in combination. Written interrogatories are questions that are submitted to the landlord that he has to answer in 5 days. There are specific forms for unlawful detainer questions (form interrogatories) and you can develop your own (special interrogatories). You can also serve requests for admissions. You ask the landlord to admit or deny certain facts. If he changes his testimony on the stand you can use them against him. You also want to demand inspect and copy relevant documents. While one can obtain valuable information from all of these methods, there are many landlord lawyers who simply object and refuse to produce anything. Certainly, you can go to court to compel production and we do that all of the time. But the best way to get evidence from a landlord is from the horse’s mouth.
Depositions
I like to try to get as much information as possible using all the methods of discovery, but then I want to sit down with a court reporter and talk to the landlord. In a deposition the landlord is testifying under oath and all of his contradictory statements can be used against him in court. I don’t want to grill the guy at this stage. I just want to find out stuff. As much as I may want to make the landlord “confess” I know that admissions of bad acts are rare. It’s not like “The Case of the One-Eyed Cheese Ball.” So I’m polite and friendly and conversational. In a deposition I can see how credibly the landlord will testify and get him pinned down on his version of the facts. The landlord will really get the point—if we got this far, we’re probably going all the way to trial.
It is also important to depose any witnesses the landlord is going to call to testify. Sometimes the landlord claims there are witnesses and there aren't any. Sometimes they'll chicken out.
Motion for summary judgment
You can get the judge to throw out the case if you can show that the landlord can’t prove his case. If you can show that there are no disputed facts as to an element of the landlord’s case you can win right here. Here’s an example: If the landlord claims that you didn’t pay your rent and you can show the court a verified copy of a cancelled check for the rent in question, there is no reason to go to trial. The judge will rule for you. Summary judgment motions are rare because facts are usually disputed by the parties. The written papers also have a slew of procedural requirements and take a lot of time to prepare.
Settlement
Many California jurisdictions require some form of mandatory settlement conference before unlawful detainer trial. Check your local rules of court.
In San Francisco, the settlement conference is scheduled the week before trial. By that time, it is often too late to get more information that could help you defend your case. You better be ready to convince the landlord and his attorney that they cannot prove the landlord’s allegations. If you cannot, there is no reason for the landlord to settle. Unfortunately, if the tenant is unrepresented, many negotiated settlements at this stage require the tenant to move out.
Trial
In San Francisco, if you did not settle your case, on the Monday morning after the settlement conference your case will be assigned a judge and sent to trial. You gathered all your evidence. You prepared all your motions. You have all of your jury instructions. You have all of your witnesses ready to go. Now all you do is walk into the courtroom pick a jury and go to it like Perry Mason. Right? If you are representing yourself, imagine an episode where Perry isn’t familiar with the rules, the judge hates him and Hamilton Burger has a perfect record.
You may have a fool for a client.
Lawyers have a saying, “If a lawyer represents himself, he has a fool for a client." I do think it is important for tenants to understand the process. But I also think that nine times out of ten you should be represented by a lawyer in an unlawful detainer. The landlord will almost always have one.
This process is hard enough for professionals. It’s nearly impossible for amateurs. If you truly want to save your tenancy, the business decision you make to defend your eviction should include an allocation of funds to hire a tenant lawyer.
Unlawful Detainer Flow Chart
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
What a helpful article...this is what indymedia should be about more ! tenant Thursday, Oct. 08, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy