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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117457
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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On 12/31/15 My wife and I went to court, because our

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On 12/31/15 My wife and I went to court, because our apartment management group accused us of not paying two months worth of rent. Even though the first time the rent check went missing, the property manager did concur that she 'might have.." shredded our check by mistake. She asked us to give her another check. So we did. We actually had that missing month and the next month's rent on the next bank check. We gave them the check and did receive a receipt for it. Guess what they somehow lost that check too. So when we went to the court hearing on 12/31/15, the attorney stopped my wif outside of the court prior to the hearing. My wife was very rattled and nervous. We have never been in a situation like this before. So the attorney convinced her that if she agreed to sign a agreement to make payments on the missing money, we wouldn't not be evicted. My wife signed it because she didn't want us homeless. We have a five year old daughter with a disability. Long story short we went into court and the judge ruled in our favor because we had proved that we paid the two months rent. He stated that no matter what deal my wife had signed prior to the hearing, he was not going to approve it or sign it.
A few weeks ago we were notified by the property management that we were in default of the agreement that my wife had signed. They told us that we had o go to court to answer that. My wife showed up and we were not on the docket. The courts advised us to stay and go to the court room when the hearing started. They called our name and the aprtment's name. No one was there for the apartment management. The clerk told us to go, because the apartment management failed to appear.
The following week again we received a notice from the apartment's attorney telling us we had to appear in court on 2/4/16. My wife's aunt had passed away a week before that and her funeral was scheduled on 2/416. She went in and filed out papers staying why we could not make the hearing amid even produced the obituary. We were told that it would be placed in our file and we would get something in the mail.
This past Friday we recieved a notice from court telling us that they found us in default of the agreement (which was never signed or dated by a judge) and we had to leave and pay the apartment the money. That afternoon we were served with a notice telling us that on 2/18/16 a moving company and the sheriff's department was going to come and move us out if we had not left yet!
How did this happen? Why did we not have ten days to challenge this. We had the weekend and then the Presidents holiday today. We only have two days to try and stop this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
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.
You need to go to court and file a motion to vacate default and to stay eviction immediately tomorrow. If you can afford an attorney I would strongly suggest getting one, because it would make this go much smoother and it would stop things from happening that scare your wife into doing things. You are also going to need to get the court transcript where the judge says he is not going to approve an agreement your wife signed, since under MA law in general once someone signs an agreement they are bound to it (absent you proving duress, which you likely can prove based on the threats of putting you, your wife and child out on the street).
You need to file the motion to stay eviction as an ex parte or emergency motion to get an immediate ruling stopping the eviction until your motion to vacate default can be heard and you can argue that the judge previously said the agreement signed by your wife was not valid and would not be approved and that you won the judgment in court, so the motion filed by the landlord is invalid and should have been dismissed.
If you cannot afford an attorney, go to the local legal aid office and also call the MA Bar Association or Boston Bar Association (if you are in the Boston Metro Area), which has a program for pro bono attorneys to assist people in your situation.