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Ask socallegalwork Your Own Question
socallegalwork, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience:  Attorney and licensed real estate broker with over twelve years of experience, specializing in landlord/tenant matters.
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The court found in his favor (one would expect nothing less

Customer Question

The court found in his favor (one would expect nothing less since it
is only his imput, fallacious as it is.
I have a question regarding chain of custody. I thought is "served" by the
police or some ofther official personage.
My landlord handed me the papers last night! I told him I could not
accept them because of the chain of custody. He simply through them
onto my bedroom floor and walked away.
What do you think about all of this please?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 6 months ago.
Hello. I am sure one of us can help you, but we are going to need a little more information. What state are you in? Were the papers that were handed/ thrown to you by your landlord: 1. a notice (such as a notice to pay or quit, notice to cure or quit or a notice to vacate); 2. a complaint that had been filed with the court; or, 3. a writ or judgment from the court?The reason I ask is, some paperwork can be served by the landlord and some papers need to be served by either a third party or local law enforcement.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am in Hawaii
It is a complaint that had been filed with court
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I do have a corollary question, somewhat more complicated than this one, but it may be moot depending on your response to the current question.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Does it generally take this long to cobble together an answer?
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 6 months ago.
Sorry. I haven't been signed in since last night. In Hawaii, court papers need to be served by the sheriff's department OR any person who is not a party and over 18 years. So the landlord cannot properly serve these documents.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Whom do I inform of this misjustice? And might it nullify the entire complaint?
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 6 months ago.
Well. Here is the rub. You can file a motion to quash service. You would be basically appearing in court for the sole purpose of arguing that service was improper. If you win, this would mean the landlord would have to properly re-serve all of the papers. It would take time (delay the process if that is what you want to do), but it also might cost you money as there may be a filing fee and you will probably want to consult with an attorney to help you prepare and schedule the motion. You can write the landlord and tell him service was improper and if he tries to get the court to enter a default (because you don't respond) you will object. This might also buy you time. The landlord will either have you served properly with the complaint or ignore you and when you don't file an answer request the court enter default. The landlord should have to file a proof of service detailing how and when you were served before he can default you (basically he wins by default when you don't answer). The problem is the landlord could lie on the proof or a court clerk not paying close enough attention could enter default. The last thing you want to do is have a default entered against you. If you go this route you need to be alert for anything iyou might receive in the mail and should also periodically call the court clerk and ask them if a proof of service, request for entry of default or anything else has been filed in your case. Finally, you can ignore the deficiency and answer. If you fight service it will buy you time. But eventually the case is going to be heard by a judge if the landlord is determined. I think it really depends on the merits of the case. Does the landlord have a strong case? If so, maybe you want to delay the process while you look for another place. If the landlord doesn't have a strong case, maybe it is better to make sure you get heard in court and can argue your defense.

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