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Hi Kelley. What you want to do here is to file suit against the landlord. You can file this in small claims court without engaging an attorney. Under the California statute, if the tenant and landlord cannot reach an agreement on the amount of the security deposit returned, the tenant can file a lawsuit against the landlord for return of the security deposit and ask for: i) the amount of the deposit, plus ii) Twice the amount of the security deposit in damages. The judge may give the tenant these additional damages if the landlord retained the deposit in bad faith. Here, your landlord is clearly acting in bad faith. Here's a link to help you with a small claims court case: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm
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