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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117358
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I own a home, rented it, every month rent was very late,

Customer Question

I own a home, rented it, every month rent was very late, they left owing rent/damages close to $11,000 sent them letter on the 20th day with receipts/estimates, renter called, wanted deposit back. Went Smalll Claims; I've done this before,know what I'm
doing; had pictures, receipts, bank statements (rent was deposited in my account) They had some pictures, couple of old witnesses.. Court had to look for a judge who didn't know me (I worked in the court before) he looked at all my evidence carefully.Tenants'
old neighbors testified (one can not hear well and the other walks with a cane, he is very weak) said they had been there to help the tenants move out and didn't see any damages. doubtful, they are old and sick. I get judgement: pay the tenants, sent form
requesting information how judge came to this judgement, no answer, appealed, hired attorney, again needed to find judge who didn'tknow me; she asked the two attorneys in to her chambers, then attorney said judge would only hear tenants' part of the case.
What a sham the trial was! The tnants' attorney wanted to be the first to testify(attorneys are not witnesses!) judge allowed it, Atty. sat on the witness stand and attacked me,( bad faith, $ I would have to pay to them; her fees, the tenant's missing work
Etc.) never mentioned the damages, unpaid rents, my attorney just sat there said nothing, then tenant testified, lied and lied but again, nothing about damages or the unpaid rent. My turn to be questioned, I will talk about the issues but no, judge would only
allow me to answer questions, dumb, like: have you rented the house again? yes, when did you rent it? I can't remember; did the tenants have a Christmas tree? I DON"TKNOW! end of it. Judgement: pay the tenants, by then it's close to $6,000! Not feeling well,
I'm old, alone, all these problems have caused me lot of depression, I've always been honest, treated people well, with respect, I've been able to live a good life even with financial problems, recovering from cancer. I read the law, found judge had wrong
hearing, should've been a "trial de novo"; wrote a letter to Commission on Judicial Performance indicating mistakes by the judge, also wrote to presiding judge, requested the judgement be voided, no answer from the judge, later get letter from Judicial performance
saying there's nothing wrong. My attorney calls me one morning, says he'll see me in court later, I say no, I'm at work. Later find there is warrant for my arrest! my attorney had received only a fax with the order to appear for a debtor's review, he forgot
to let me know, Shouldn't I have been served? I requested a court date, the tenant didn't show, the order was squashed. I need to get the money they owe me, need to get another attorney? (fired that first one) can't appeal again? I just got served to appear
for a debtor's hearing, I can't deal with this right now, I don't feel well, keep working but I am very tired, feel weak, I am sure, the court retaliating against me. I worked there 6 yrs as an independent contractor, full time, we got a new administrator,
wife of a judge,one day she tells me not to come to work anymore. WHY? age maybe, before that, the union wanted to make us, (all vendors) employees, but people over 60 could continue as independent, doing same work, I had chosen that option, (I was the only
one) when told not to go back, I applied for a position as employee, I met all the requirements, they refused to hire me,I sued them, my attorney got sick, sent someone else who was no good; at the trial,all the court people lied and lied, making me look as
a problem person 100% opposite of what I am, I lost. I was again, very sick with depression, then cancer was found; anyway, they wanted me to pay a lot of money. I wrote to every single member of the Judicial Council explaining the dishonesty of the court
administrator, did not get a single answer, I was, after some time, able to pay a reduced amount to clear that case. The small claims wrong judgements are retaliation from the court. I need to go to the debtor's hearing, I'm sick, can't deal with any of that
right now but if I don't go there will be another warrant, need another lawyer, don't have money. Are we fighting the judge because of the wrong hearing? or the tenants for the money they owe me? I think I should also sue for all the terrible stress, depression,
anxiety, Etc. Is it the tenants or the court? Hope you can help me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
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.

The service on the attorney for the examination is allowed if he had previously accepted service for you. If your attorney did not have an acceptance of service on file in the court, then they were supposed to send you notice. Either way, the warrant will be recalled because your attorney will admit to the court he forgot to give you the notice.

As far as your case, you know that small claims court cases are typically not able to be appealed by the plaintiff, you are going to seek to vacate the judgment and get your attorney to try to seek a change of venue based on what you are saying about not getting a fair hearing in this venue because of your prior working with the court.

However, you cannot sue a judge under CA law as they are exempt from suit under the statutory immunity laws. So your only way to fight judgments of a judge is in an appeal, which typically does not occur from a plaintiff's loss in a small claims case as those cannot be appealed under CA law.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You have to file a "Motion to Vacate and for Reconsideration" in the small claims court and ask the judge in that court to review the specific evidence you believe that entitles you to a judgment in your favor and you need to ask the court to reconsider.