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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41014
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I just went to small claims court in contra costa county,

Customer Question

I just went to small claims court in contra costa county, Ca. I was the defendent and was being sued for $10,000 in rent paid over 4 years. The renter moved out 8 months after I bought the house and kept paying the difference in the lower rent that was available in the market at that time. There were no writtent contracts or agreement, and verbal commitments to pay. Plaintiff came to court with bogus contract that was not dated or signed pleaded his case. Court found in favor of plaintiff for $10,000. I would like to appeal court decision, but on what basis do I have. Dennis Blum
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to hep you tonight.

You can appeal on the basis that there was no valid contract and the necessary elements were not present.


To prove that a contract was created, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That the contract terms were clear enough that the parties could understand what each was required to do;

2. That the parties agreed to give each other something of value [a promise to do something or not to do something may have value]; and

3. That the parties agreed to the terms of the contract.

[When you examine whether the parties agreed to the terms of the contract, ask yourself if, under the circumstances, a reasonable person would conclude, from the words and conduct of each party, that there was an agreement. You may not consider the parties’ hidden intentions.]

If [name of plaintiff] did not prove all of the above, then a contract was not created.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

A small claims appeal is a "trial de novo" or "new trial." This means that the case is decided by a new judge from the beginning so you have to present your case all over again. Because this case is in the civil division of the superior court (and NOT in small claims court), you (and the other side) are allowed to bring a lawyer to represent you in the new trial.

This is in effect a new trial in front of a lawyer judge.A lawyer to represent you would be a great help as the rules of procedure are more formal than small claims.You would want to seek new witnesses and more evidence for a new outcome.

You can have a second bite at the apple here, make sure you do this asap as your time is limited.Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

To file an appeal of a small claims judgment

  1. You must file your appeal within 30 days of the date the small claims judgment was mailed to you. This date will be on your copy of the small claims decision.
  2. File a Notice of Appeal (Small Claims) (Form SC-140) with the small claims court.
  3. The court will mail you the date and time of your hearing on the appeal. The hearing on your appeal will be in the civil division of the superior court.
  4. Go to your trial. You and the other side will have to present your case all over again.
  5. If you do not go to the trial, the judge will not hear your side of the story.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If you can positive rate it is always much appreciated.