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MShore
MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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Need to see if my case qualifies as "res judicata" currently

Resolved Question:

Need to see if my case qualifies as "res judicata" currently in district court but originated in housing court.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MShore replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. Please elaborate on the facts of the case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My case originated in housing court in April 2010. I was being evicted for non payment of rent $4143. I immediately filed a counterclaim for damaged property totaling $2150.I had numerous ongoing issues with the apt. There were mold problems. Almost had miscarriage twice. My son was born in nov 2009 & in Jan was hospitalized for 1 week for RSV a respiratory issue. I complained to the property managers about the mold & they had to come in clean with bleach, pain & even replace carpeting due to water damage on more than 1 occasion. I even asked to be moved to another apt with no avail before I exhausted my finances to pay rent. I was a part time bartender/waitress & when I stopped working in oct 2009 due to dr. Order I was on unpaid maternity leave. with my son being hospitalized & then needing breathing treatments I couldn't go back to work when scheduled. I came to an agreement with the property attorney in housing court that if I vacated the apt by may 2010 I would not be responsible to pay the $4143.
Expert:  MShore replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX may know res judicata refers to two concepts: 1. a case in which there has been a final judgment and is no longer subject to appeal and 2. the legal doctrine meant to bar (or preclude) continued litigation of cases between the same parties. On what basis do you believe res judicata would apply?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I complied with the agreement & moved out by said date. I was reassured by the attorney that I wouldn't be responsible for the $4k or any fees pertaining to this. I never got to present my counterclaim or see a judge. I obviously thought it was reasonable especially because of everything I endured living in that apt. The case closed in housing court but unfortunately they went to district court & filed a claim against me for the amount above. I was never made aware of this situation & therefore I was in default for not going to court to defend myself. In march 2012 I was denied an apt because it turns out this went to collections & showed on my credit report as now owing over $6k. I immediately went to research on all of this & found out what they did. I have the summary judgment from housing court which states the following written by the attorney:
the defendants agree to voluntarily vacate the premises on or before 5/17/10.
The parties agree that this is a no fault eviction but was brought due to defendants insufficient income.
The parties agree that the plaintiff reserves any and all claims for rent against defendant and defendant reserves any and all counterclaims they may have against plaintiff.
Judgment for possession only is marked.
Since I defaulted I filed a motion to remove default, vacate judgment and dismiss allowed by a judge in June 2012.
I thought with this my case was closed which is false I called the collection agency & now it's up to over $8k. A new court date has not been scheduled & after speaking to a collection agent at their attorneys office of everything that took place they told me if I had considered suing them. I now have to file the motion to answer late etc. This is still reflecting on my credit. I was misinformed & told to sign something that was not completely explained to me and in my eyes i complied & assumed this was closed &
done. By april i had already started working i had a toddler & newborn, & returned to my employment in march at night as a bartender in a hotel. I was sleep deprived & stressed i didnt want to complicate things further & thats why i complied with the order.I plan to file my answer on Monday & set a court date & I can't afford an attorney so I want to make sure to
present my case correctly & accurately.
Expert:  MShore replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the explanation, this would not qualify as res judicate unforunately because the judgment stated "The parties agree that the plaintiff reserves any and all claims for rent against defendant and defendant reserves any and all counterclaims they may have against plaintiff." Therefore, the plaintiff was free to pursue you for monetary relief after you vacated the property per the no fault eviction. Please let me know if this answers your question or if you have any follow up questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have any kind of defense?
Expert:  MShore replied 1 year ago.
I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but based on your description no, you do not have a defense. It appears you misunderstood the terms of the agreement, and the terms as your understood them to be are not what was actually written, but you signed what was written and this is conclusive evidence of your understanding and agreement to those terms. I really am sorry, and hope that you will not shoot the messenger by rating me negatively. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.
MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience: Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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MShore
MShore
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Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.