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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16721
Experience:  Attorney experienced in Landlord-Tenant Law.
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I have a civil case against my landlord for tenant harassment.

Customer Question

I have a civil case against my landlord for tenant harassment. While I was waiting for their settlement offer - at the time I was not in default of rent and on paper the landlord owed at least $3000 - I was served an unlawful detainer and then my attorney quit. At trial, the landlord's attorney waived my rights to speak up about the civil case, the judge didn't seem to care. I lost. I got a stay, and the next day my landlord and police are beating down the door so I open it, only to find they are arresting me on the same charge that was part of the problem I sued him over - in my civil case! It was a battery charge from a citizen's arrest, the arrest my landlord let happen while defending our apartment from my husband's ex-girlfriend For some reason, he got away with refiling it, and it dropped in a day. What do I do to reverse the lower court's judgment and win my higher court civil case?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

How long ago did a lower case decision was rendered?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Entry of Judgment for writ of possession on November 8, 2011. Entry of motion to vacate December 14, 2011.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Generally you can either file a Motion to Vacate this judgment.

As far as appealing a judgment, it has to be done within 30 days from the entry of the judgment, so in a judgment was entered on 11/8/2011 it would be generally to late to file an appeal of the judgment.

If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

... Awesome! I thought I could file a Motion to Vacate ... Do I file it in the lower court or higher court?
Expert:  replied 5 years ago.
You would file it in the same court that had rendered the judgment, as this would be the only court that would have jurisdiction to vacate/set aside the judgment, without going through an appeal.

If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.
Alex J. Esq. and 2 other Landlord-Tenant Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Another thing - in 2007-2009, I was a tenant in a different apartment. The same landlord in this case proceeded to evict me then; the result was a stipulated judgment, to which I complied, followed by their dismissal with prejudice -- which I read to be a favorable equivalent to judgment in my favor.

So, I wound up in a relationship with the tenant in the unit across the hall from me - I knew him from before his tenancy, and actually referred him to the landlord when the vacancy occurred, and the landlord didn't know that until after I'd been evicted - and I moved back into the building to be with him.


The landlord (property manager, really) caused the problems for which we sued (lied to the police when my husband's then-girlfriend wouldn't leave, said things like "she's banned from the building, otherwise treated us differently from everybody else) and when we couldn't get the landlord to admit liability, settle the claim and pay our damages over the course of a year trying to litigate - we lost our attorney (likely to pressure from the landlord's big law firm attorneys) and the landlord moved to evict,


Doesn't that kinda prove our tenant harassment case and isn't it illegal to sue somebody after dismissing all causes of action against them?


If so, how do I do it? Many thanks for the help, too! We are grateful!


-- dismissed defendant and her husband plaintiff ...

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hello and it is good to hear back from you.

Did you file a lawsuit against the landlord after you agreed to vacate the building and moved with your b/f into a different apartment?

Also, were you evicted from a different apartment than the one from where you originally resided and agreed to move out?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Thank you SO MUCH for responding! I will submit satisfaction of good advice, for surety!


OK ... As far as the post-eviction lawsuit ...Although I devised that it would be the best remedy for the wrong, it was filed, paid for and based on violations of rights that belonged to my now husband ... in his own rights, on his lease, and that remained the case regardless of me, however, because I was involved, and an underlying factor to the property manager's unlawful causation of the wrong, I was named in the affirmative case my husband filed after all. This was done a year before the eviction against him had begun -- at the time, he was the only person on the lease, the "Guest" issue had already been compromised before (enough that it was NO good cause for the notices to cure we got from the property manager before and after his wrong), and he was current with the rent.


I was in a different apartment when I was evicted. A few months after we filed the suit (with an attorney) we got married and they were forced to add me onto my husbands lease - which I understood to cancel out their "right not to sue" provisions in their stipulated judgment with me.


To get to the bottom of it all ... we are desperately seeking measures whereby we can counter-execute on the residual lower court judgment and dismantle the landlord's attorneys, who, after our attorney left us at the stand on the day of their limited case's trial - maintain an unseemly stranglehold over us - and our unlimited suit.


SF 628975, 505599, 638699 - please let us know if you'd take a huge percentage of representation - even just limited scope - over further incidental advice - we are determined in our hopes to terminate litigation and slap this tyrannical party, and their insurance company funding all of this cruelty - with the tab, the finger and the boot!


Otherwise, you will be considered fully for your online help!



PS - Resorting to law of equity after getting rooted in our suit, I proceeded to assert acquired rights by recording pendency of action, title and completion notices with the assessor recorder - and those documents were accepted and returned, which I understand to be the equivalent of ownership rights over the transferor creditors. We anticipate moving the matter forward with bona fide selling power. We hope it may motivate someone to assume power of attorney for us in order to follow through with affirmations of the county recorder.


Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up

I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation with this new lawsuit.

While I am flattered about yout inquiry about legal representation, unfortunately various state laws and Terms of Service, prohibit legal professionals, such as myself to provide customers with any type of legal advice or legal services and we can only provide customers with general answers to their legal questions based on the common principles of law.

Can you please tell me what was the judgment entered against you and your husband in this latest lawsuit and also can you please let me know what is your specific legal question about this situation that I can answer for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, sorry this is so discombobulated!


Essentially, the facts are:


I got an entry of default reject against the landlord (natural person)

My husband was listed as a PLAINTIFF and adverse witness at his trial.

The only reason it appears they got a judgment against us is because the clerks and attorneys manipulated my maiden and my married name.


Because my name was manipulated, the judgment passed through the trial and was entered against my husband and me. The landlord pushed the rest of the case faster than we could deal with, having lost our second lawyer two hours before the trial was scheduled to take place.


We know our attorneys were bought out, that we were manipulated by both our attorneys and the landlords attorneys, who were moving the subsequent suits from my initial fee waiver in the first eviction case, essentially using myself against me in litigating against them with my claim.


Do we need an attorney or could we just use the things we learned from it, which gave us the courage to record the lis pendens, grant deed and notice of completion on the property and go ahead and sell it, recover the damages from the equity, and get justice without more delay?


We just need affirmation that we are more likely the prevailing party here, and that the landlord's foul moves could easily be explained.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

What did the landlord obtain a judgment against you for?

Did you record lis pendens and grand deed on the property that you were leasing and did not legally own?

Did you file a Motion to Dismiss Lis Pendens after you have lost at trial?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The judgment was allegedly for non payment of rent.


We filed a rent deposit which was posted on the register of actions, for a stay of execution of the judgment, and the property manager called the police, filed a bogus police report, forcibly entered our unit with the police and had me arrested (I was released without a court date) --- the next day.


The fact that we had posted notice of appeal, the 30 day rent deposit 500 in excess of the actual daily interest value of the monthly rent, as well as the whole forcible entry and trespass, gives us reason to believe we should be able to file some sort of action that applies the lower court case judgment in our case - to the residue? Would that be something we could do?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Were you ever legally evicted from this rental?

Are you still residing in this rental unit?

What was the amount of judgment entered against you and did you in fact file an appeal petition with the court?

Did you record a grant deed related to this rental unit?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



We weren't legally evicted, I don't think. Both a return of writ of execution and notice of eviction restoration were processed after the stay, the first is addressed to the landlord, the second addressed in our name, so we don't know what the landlord did, but he definitely scared us enough that we simply fled.


We are not residing in the rental unit. The register of actions acknowledges both our payment of $2600 in partial satisfaction of a $7000 claim AND restitution of the premises in full satisfaction of the claim, which I understand to be unreasonably excessive and improper given the additional $225 bond on appeal, filed a week before the stay order and well before the return on the writ, which was quite premature.


We recorded a grant deed based on the entire property , because we looked back at the eviction case from 2009 I realized I was registered to the entire property address without my unit number, and the landlord wasn't listed with the property's address at all.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Why did you record a grant deed on the property to which you do not have any legal ownership rights to?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Because a dismissal with prejudice was filed in the eviction case against me and my possession of the premises was subsequently recovered when I was added to my husband's lease, at which point an ownership interest substantial enough to maintain property rights litigation with nine causes of action, including civil conspiracy and nuisance, was regained.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, I am afraid that you might have misinterpreted the law on this issue.

1) Who drafted this deed and what did this deed state?

2) Tell me more about the deed?

3) Why do you think that you have any property rights in the building owned by the landlord?

4) Were you represented by a local attorney and did this attorney review and aprove the filing and recording of this grant deed?

I am not sure if I really understand your actions from a legal standpoint.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


1) The deed was drafted as an interspousal grant deed. It was accepted, filed and returned to us by the assessor recorder.


2) I filed it because I discovered that the landlord's attorney was advancing further litigation of other cases pending in court from under my identity, particularly, by taking control of my party ID and fee waiver from the 2009 eviction case. I determined this by examining the payment receipts posted in the register of actions on all three cases - 2009 eviction, 2010 affirmative civil rights case and the 2011 eviction. In the last case, one of the registered payments was voided when my husband and I filed an adverse motion against a simultaneous litigation filed by the landlord's defense attorneys, which triggered disambiguation in comparison to the filing we had made.


3) Indignant with the assault and mutiny on my own real property claim and title rights over my identity and name, I determined that such actions in abuse of my identity and name were occurring because my identity and party status in that suit had been left in a significant position which, properly applied, could be used to assert powers and property rights equivalent to ownership interests, which in fact was what the landlord had effectuated and did.


4) This was not explained to me when my husband filed his suit against the landlord, and it was discovered only after the course of so much subsequent action revealed that this was true.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, a grant deed that was recorded, might cloud the title to the building, but it would be relatively easy for the landlord's attorneys to set aside / nullify and you might be also sued for any damages or landlord's attorneys' fees related to this recorded grant deed, as it is likely will be held illegal and improper.

So basically at this point if you do want to pursue an appeal of the judgment and the timeframe has not elapsed, you would need to consult and retain local real estate law attorney who would be able to help you pursue an appeal on the previous case.

I am very sorry about everything that you had to go through and I wish you the best of luck. Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



We proceeded with the appeal in the appellate division of superior court, then we petitioned the court of appeal, which granted us a fee award and, according to the register of actions, our class status changed from "defendants" to "appellants"


We appear to have maintained the title of "plaintiffs" throughout our own case; the landlord appears mostly as "defendant" and for a little while is listed as "cross-complainant" but then at the end of the report, is listed as "defendant" again.


Is that any indication of whether we prevailed? That is my final question, if it could actually help me determine our status in court with all this litigation. Please believe I intend to compensate your dedication to my question - I just need a clearer opinion as to which party you would say prevails in terms of judgment at thus point?


PS - lastly, our unlimited case furthers litigation in terms of dates. Beginning to end, we maintain the title of plaintiffs.


PPS - I don't think they can sue me for filing the grant deed since they really did dismiss all causes of action against me in 2009, or is that not the case?


Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, the designation of "plaintiff" or "defendant" simply states which party has filed the lawsuit and not which party has prevailed and does not in any way indicate the wining party or case status.

Appellee means one against whom an appeal is taken. Appellant is the party, that appeals. Specifically, it means one that appeals from a judicial decision or decree.


I wish you the best of luck and would strongly urge that you do consult an experienced local real estate attorney who can review all the documents related to this case and explain them to you.


Thank you and I wish you the best of luck!