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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37858
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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What the prcedure to sue a business, namely exlandlord in county

Customer Question

What the prcedure to sue a business, namely exlandlord in county court?
I'm looking to ask for $30,000 to make it worthwhile.

Timeline:
Nov 15th 2012 I had slip and fall at my mom apt complex.
Dec 2nd 2012 my mom died 30min after payin bills, including dec rent.
Apprximately dec 6th see manager at gate she say she sorry about death and if I was going to continue paying rent I said yes.
Around dec I hired lawyer for personal injiry slip and fall case.
I paid rent for jan 2013 they accepted
Around 1st of feb I was released from therapy
Feb 13th I went to office to discuss rent. Gave them partial payment which secretary got manager consent and signed my receit
Feb 25th I went back in office to discuss starting new job and they agreed on partial payments weekly til rent caught up.
March 6th partial payment made
March 13th partial payment made
March 19th partial payment made. Also lawyer sent insurnace of landlord letter. First time insurance replied of course they denied responsibility
March 20th landlord filed eviction
I didn't make jp hearing but I did file appeal. Landlod stated reason for filing eviction is NONPAYMENT OF RENT. THEY DID NOT INCLUDE ANY OF MY PARTIAL PAYMENTS
May 7th 2013 went to county court. I asked for lawyer.
Reset to May 14th
May 14th dispite all my evidence judge was bias and accepted landlord arguement that my name not on lease therefore none of law apply cause I wasn't suppose to be there. Judge ruled the money depodited in registry be returned.

Now my contigent to sue is the following
1. Bad faith. Denial of parts performance even though law stated lease include any WRITTEN OR ORAL AGREEMENT, ANY MODIFICATIONS AT ANY TIME, AND DENIAL of being given reasonable amount of time on notice of change of mind. They originally stated nonpayment then changed to name not on the lease yet they accepted rent for 3 months and they didn't include any of my paymentss in the initial balance and wasn't going to UNTIL I notified their lawyer and sent them the proof and tried to settle out of court.
2. Retaliation. They changed their mind and evicted me one day after lawyer got correspondence from their insurance. Law says can't do that within 6 months of notification.
3. By law mom rent after death along with her deposits both for apt and pet deposit should be given to heir which it haven't.
4. By accepting rent yet claiming I wasn't suppose to be there and they thought I was moving out regardless of their own signature they were acting as illegal storage bypassing deceptive trade act or regulations with storage industry.
5. They have police as security. If I really wasn't suppose to be there they could kick me out any any time.
6. Since judge refunded my registry deposits I should have gotten ALL MONEY PAID after date of mom's death.

What would be the procedure to file suit.
This is in Harris County TX.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please allow me to assist you.

I see that you have put forth a few facts pertaining to what you wish to sue for. Do you wish to file pro-se (self-representing) without an attorney? Are you only looking for means of how to find an attorney, or are you also seeking an evaluation as to whether or not you have a valid claim? If the latter, are you seeking an honest assessment of your claims, or just how to make the claims you see as valid work? Please advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I feel I have a case and landlord made it easy.
With that being said #1. Honest assessment 2. How to be my own attorny if I'm not able to find one and what the procedure...which paper to file, what name to list...the management company of the apts is blue valley and the apts is timber ridge.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up.

If you are seeking an honest assessment then I will be happy to provide it, but then I ask that you do not blame the proverbial messenger if the information is not quite as you expected.

Having said that, please allow me to respond to each issue that you raised and see if it has value....

1. Bad faith. Denial of parts performance even though law stated lease include any WRITTEN OR ORAL AGREEMENT, ANY MODIFICATIONS AT ANY TIME, AND DENIAL of being given reasonable amount of time on notice of change of mind. They originally stated nonpayment then changed to name not on the lease yet they accepted rent for 3 months and they didn't include any of my paymentss in the initial balance and wasn't going to UNTIL I notified their lawyer and sent them the proof and tried to settle out of court.
My apologies but that is not a valid claim. Even if you can argue and claim that you were a paying tenant, something that I also agree with based on your terms, there are two conditions here that do not point to bad faith. First, you were behind on rent which allowed the other party to seek an eviction. Since you did fall behind, there is no bad faith to seek an eviction. Second, if you were arguably a tenant, as you never signed a new lease at most you are deemed to be a 'month-to-month' tenant who had no lease. As a consequence provided the other party gave notice, they could seek an eviction at any time. There was no written lease entitling you to a full period of time to the premises.

2. Retaliation. They changed their mind and evicted me one day after lawyer got correspondence from their insurance. Law says can't do that within 6 months of notification.
This is possible. But as you were a month-to-month tenant based on my evaluation, you are not similarly covered under state law, and the landlord could potentially evict especially for good cause such as nonpayment. Filing a complaint against the landlord does not absolve the tenant from making payments.

3. By law mom rent after death along with her deposits both for apt and pet deposit should be given to heir which it haven't.
Not to heir, to executor of the estate. Whomever is probating your mother's estate is entitled to get those funds back, and until they have proof that you are the sole beneficiary they do not have to provide the funds to you.

4. By accepting rent yet claiming I wasn't suppose to be there and they thought I was moving out regardless of their own signature they were acting as illegal storage bypassing deceptive trade act or regulations with storage industry.
No, by claiming rent and accepting it it grants you the right to claim that you were a tenant on a month-to-month basis. Since you lived there, this isn't a storage issue, and even if it were, then they could seek costs for storage from you or the estate of your deceased mother.

5. They have police as security. If I really wasn't suppose to be there they could kick me out any any time.
I am afraid that would be illegal. The moment you became a paying tenant, and have been on premises long enough, the only way to remove you was via eviction. They could not use the police to get you out, a you obtained a right to the premises.

6. Since judge refunded my registry deposits I should have gotten ALL MONEY PAID after date of mom's death.
I politely disagree. If you became a month-to-month tenant and paid rent, then the rent you paid into the premises is owed by the landlord.

I honestly do not see a claim here. You may have a valid slip-and-fall, but I do not see a claim for an eviction suit. You are free to seek other attorneys to evaluate--consider browsing the listings at www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com. As for forms, if you are seeking $30,000 as damages, that is high enough to go to district court--consider going to your local county law library and obtain templates of how complaints would look so you can file them accordingly. But at a higher court system there are no forms, everything there has to be created by you, which is why retaining counsel would be wiser.

Good luck.

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