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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 116816
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I had a Landlord Unpaid Rent Default Judgment stricken from

Customer Question

I had a Landlord Unpaid Rent Default Judgment stricken from the record by Judge after filing a Motion to Vacate. Provided documentation of more than 30 days notice due to career change across the country. Landlord clearly made it appear thru service that I still lived at the house. Rent was paid in full through date of departure. Tenant at Will agreement. If the Plaintiff failed to serve the Defendant their Objection Form now making a fourth count of Rule 3(a) violation, why did the Judge order Motion to Dismiss to be heard at Hearing on Merits? I expect to be reimbursed for all travel expenses. Will a Judge order the Plaintiff to pay if granted? I filed a Counterclaim for the Security Deposit, travel expenses and 1/3 of the Selling Broker's commission because the house was under contract while living there. House did not receive an offer with two prior attempts. It was my improvements and furnishings that sold it. Broker never contacted me about showing the property. The Owner resented me for moving out and it was not seamless for him financially. I want to countersue the Broker and Property Owner (he is wealthy) who filed the suit for malicious credit damage, Emotional distress, reimbursement for my hospitalization, lost vacation time and travel expenses. Any help or insight appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you can prove the landlord was engaging in false statements about service and has misrepresented the circumstances surrounding your moving out and the notice you gave as a tenant at will, then this is grounds to have the court award you costs and fees for having to appear in court over their frivolous claims. It also can give you grounds to ask for punitive damages, up to triple your actual damages, for the landlord bringing a case brought upon facts you can prove are untrue.

The judge ordering the hearing of the motion to dismiss on the same date of the hearing on the merits is for judicial economy. Trial courts prefer a hearing on the merits, but if there is a motion to dismiss the court can review that prior to the hearing and if they agree that the case should be dismissed, then the trial on merits will not occur. It is up to the judge to decide how to set their calendar and this is a way for them to do so.