I had a commercial building in Los Angeles and in 1999 I signed a five year lease with two tenants. In 2003 they defaulted and I had an attorney file an unlawful detainer suit. I was granted a default judgment. Then I had another attorney file a breach of lease suit and received a default judgment. So then my attorney filed abstracts of judgments for both cases. Then the one tenant hired an attorney and got the judgment set aside. We had a new trial and I prevailed at a lesser amount than the award for the default judgment. The judge ordered the default judgment against the other tenant to stand because he never appeared. The first tenant who received the judgment after trail paid what the judge ordered and a satisfaction of judgment was filed. Now the other tenant never paid the default judgment. With interest it is now approaching $ 128,000.00 at ten % interest per year. We can't locate him to collect. Now since the commercail lease had a joint and several liability clause in it, can I file a new abstract of judgment against the first tenant and a judgment lien with the Secretary of State since both tenants are responsible for paying the entire judgment?.
State/Country relating to question: California
Did researc on joint and several liability
The simple answer is....Yes, this is what it means to be jointly and severally liable. If the full amount of the judgment was not paid by one of the parties, an individual may collect against all of those whom agreed to be held jointly and severally liable.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions and I would be happy to help. Good Luck to you.
After a further reading through your situation and researching California law on the matter, I found the following........Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 877(b)
This statute reads as follows:
As you can see, section (b) places a limit. Others who are liable may not receive contribution from the party which has settled.
I truly hope you are able to track down and collect from the other party in your case and hope that although this may not be the answer you were looking for, did find the information helpful in the end. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions. Thanks.
Owner of a law firm which handles real estate transactions.
But what about section C. ! It states that the section does not apply to co-obligers who have expressly agreed in writing to an apportionment of liability for losses or claims amongst themselves. They signed a joint and several liability clause as an addendum to the lease. So they expressly agreed to share responsibility for payment of the judgment !.
Hello.................Upon reading the above statute more closely, it appears to apply to situations where a party settles before trial and not after trial or a judgment is ordered. Here is the language I am referring to: XXXXX X release, dismissal with or without prejudice, or a covenant not to sue or not to enforce judgment is given in good faith before verdict or judgment to one or more of a number of tortfeasors claimed to be liable for the same tort, or to one or more other co-obligors mutually subject to contribution rights......................However, I have still not found anything that would bar recovery from a jointly and severally liable party in CA. As long as a satisfaction of judgment is not ordered as a full satisfaction of the liability (and is a partial satisfaction instead), a jointly and severally liable party in CA would be liable for the entire amount.
That is great news!
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