Hi, Nikki, I think that is absolutely the best news I have heard in a long time. I am so glad that you did not waste any time and you immediately went to get the forms from the Court. California is the easiest State to get redress because they have forms for almost every case imaginable. Other States are not as progressive as California.
Your situation fits in more than one category and here is why,
A lease is a contract for the use of property belonging to another. The landlord breached the contract by not giving you property which was fit for human habitation, he failed to make repairs, and the way he treated you and everything related to the lease, I could successfully argue that there was some fraud involved also;
Your case is equally relevant to torts. (A tort is a civil wrong committed by one person's actions or failure to act on another person, resulting in personal injuries to the Plaintiff). You and the children suffered personal injuries as a direct result of the landlord's refusal to act in accordance with the duty he had to you. He breached his duty to you and the children, and his intentional acts were the direct cause of the personal injuries you and your children sustained;
I would check off "Personal Injury". Do not forget to include your children in the same action as yours, as Plaintiffs also. Your caption would be as follows:
Nikki ______________ ,
(Child's name), a minor, by Nikki ___________, parent and Natural Guardian
(Child's name), a minor, by Nikki _____________, Parent and Natural Guardian
(Name of landlord),
If anybody else is a co-owner with the landlord, you should name them also,
I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX you follow through with reporting the Attorney who was supposed to be representing you. Our Rules of Professional Conduct, Code of Ethics, and Code of Professional Responsibility prohibit an Attorney to represent an individual in a case where the Attorney is not competent because they are unfamiliar with the law. This was clearly the case with the Attorney. The more I read your Answers, the more convinced I became that she had to have been working with the landlord because I cannot believe that anybody could be so stupid. In fact, that is why she probably did not want to go before the Judge because the Judge would have recognized the landlord's liability immediately and thrown out his Complaint and dismissed his case.
Even common sense would tell her that something is very wrong here, you are not responsible, yet she convinced you that you owed the landlord money to get out of the lease ? Was she on drugs ?
You had used a term that described your situation completely - The landlord "constructively" evicted you. The definition of "Constructive Eviction" is where the landlord has not told a tenant to vacate the property, but has made the conditions so uninhabitable that it would be impossible to occupy the leased premises without jeopardizing one's health or one's life. In a constructive eviction, the tenant's obligation to pay rent to the landlord ceases to exist and the tenant is no longer liable to the landlord.
Now, how in the world could this attorney see these conditions which you clearly described and still think in her mind that you had a legal obligation to continue to pay rent to the landlord ?
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