Discovery in California Unlawful Detainer (Eviction)

 
Discovery in California Unlawful Detainer Eviction

Discovery in California Unlawful Detainer Eviction

Discovery in California unlawful detainer (eviction) cases proceeds similarly to discovery in other types of civil actions. One major difference, however, is that discovery in eviction cases typically moves much quicker.

I previously discussed the use of discovery in California eviction cases in a recent blog article. The video below provides a helpful overview for those who would like to know what discovery is, how it works, and under what circumstances it may be beneficial to utilize discovery in a California eviction case. The video briefly touches on three types of discovery methods: Requests for Admissions, Request for Production of Documents, and Interrogatories.

If you as a landlord have been served with discovery in your California unlawful detainer case, or if you are contemplating drafting a set of discovery questions to send to your tenant, we may be able to help. Remember, though, we only assist landlords and can only provide a free consultation to landlords whose rental property is located in our service area. If you are outside of our service area, we provide a paid consultation on a case-by-case basis.

Ready for more help? Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Discovery in California Unlawful Detainer (Eviction)

The Use of Discovery in California Unlawful Detainer Evictions

 
Discovery in California Unlawful Detainers

Discovery in California Unlawful Detainers

Discovery is an optional phase of the California unlawful detainer eviction process. If either the landlord or tenant sends discovery questions to the other side, responses will be required by the answering party, and the time period for which to respond to discovery questions is short. Discovery is a way to gain additional information from the other side and to help prepare for trial and minimize the chances of an unexpected surprise at trial.

Discovery can ask the other side to answer relevant details about the tenancy, to produce documents relating to the tenancy, and to admit or deny certain facts. There are several forms of discovery, but the three main types of discovery in California unlawful detainers are:

  • Interrogatories
  • Inspection of Documents
  • Requests for Admissions

A landlord or tenant may use one or all of these types of discovery techniques, and oftentimes a party will use all three, as they each have their individual purpose. For example, if the eviction case is based on the tenant failing to pay the rent, the landlord could demand from the tenant through the use of discovery:

  • Admit that the tenant failed to pay the rent in June 2019 (this is a sample “Request for Admission”).
  • Provide a copy of your cancelled check showing rent was paid for June 2019 (this is a sample “Inspection of Documents”).
  • List all rent payments and rent credits made or claimed on behalf of defendant beginning 12 months before the notice to quit was served (this is a sample Interrogatory).

A landlord may want to send discovery questions to the tenant to find loopholes in the defenses that the tenant raised in his or her answer. The landlord may try to establish that the tenant committed the allegation being asserted in the complaint. The landlord may use discovery to rebut the tenant’s warranty of habitability defense or to determine the names of all people living at the rental unit.

A tenant may send discovery questions to the landlord to try and discover bases for affirmative defenses. If the property is in a rent control area, the tenant can use discovery questions to try and show bad faith on the part of the landlord, since most rent control jurisdictions require the landlord to have a specific reason for the eviction that falls within a list of justifiable circumstances.

While discovery can be used in constructive ways, it is not without its downsides. There is normally a cost involved by both sides to draft questions and provide responses. Most of the time, sending discovery will not delay a case, but there is a possibility that a trial may be delayed pending discovery (which is why it is important to begin discovery at the earliest opportunity during the case). Thus, while both landlord and tenant have the right to use discovery in California unlawful detainer actions, the decision on whether or not to proceed with discovery needs to be discussed on a case-by-case basis between the party and his or her attorney.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The Use of Discovery in California Unlawful Detainer Evictions

Ventura County Lawyer for Landlord

 
Ventura Eviction Lawyer

Lawyer for Landlords in Ventura

Ventura County Lawyer for Landlord

The Law Office of David Piotrowski is a law firm representing landlords only in Ventura county. We do not represent tenants. We have a stellar reputation of success evicting tenants in Ventura county, and we would like the opportunity to evict your Ventura tenant.

It’s easy to find lawyers who represent tenants. Generally speaking, California is a liberal state and the laws favor tenants. The goal of our law firm is to even the playing field as much as possible. We are a law firm for landlords in Ventura, and we can assist with many different types of Ventura evictions.

Reasons for Evicting a Ventura Tenant

Some common reasons for needing a landlord attorney in Ventura include:

  • Non-payment of rent. This type of eviction would be based on CCP 1161(2) and is the type of eviction needed when a Ventura tenant stops paying rent.
  • Violating the rental agreement. This type of  Ventura eviction under CCP 1161(3) is needed when the tenant is breaking other terms of the lease, such as smoking or having pets when the lease prohibits such things.
  • Causing a nuisance or damaging the property. This Ventura eviction type is based on CCP 1161(4) and is sometimes considered the most severe type of eviction because a Ventura eviction based on CCP 1161(4) does not give the tenant an opportunity to fix the violation, whereas a CCP 1161(2) and CCP 1161(3) eviction gives the tenant an opportunity to fix the problem.

Get More Information on Ventura Landlord Eviction Services

Visit our law firm page on Ventura evictions. We hope you give us the opportunity to assist with your Ventura eviction.

Ready to Begin the Tenant Eviction?

We represent landlords only with eviction cases. We will work hard to make the tenant eviction in Ventura county go as quickly and stress-free as possible for you, the landlord.

Be sure to check out the Law Office of David Piotrowski reviews! We look forward to serving you with your tenant eviction in Ventura County. We offer a free consultation on most cases for Ventura eviction cases.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Ventura County Lawyer for Landlord

Tenant Eviction in Santa Clarita, Valencia, and the SCV

 
Santa Clarita Eviction Attorney

Tenant Eviction in Santa Clarita

Tenant Eviction in Santa Clarita

Landlords needing to begin a tenant eviction in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Newhall, Castaic, Saugus, Canyon Country, and the rest of the SCV need look no further for a local 5 star tenant eviction lawyer. We have been assisting landlords in the SCV since 2004, and we would like to assist you, too!

The Cause of a Tenant Eviction Case in Santa Clarita

A tenant eviction in Santa Clarita and the surrounding communities is typically the result of the tenant doing something (or failing to do something) that is required under the terms of the rental agreement. Common examples leading to a tenant eviction in Santa Clarita include the tenant failing to pay the rent when due, the tenant having pets at the property when the lease says no pets, or the tenant smoking when the lease prohibits smoking.

Other times, the Santa Clarita eviction is not due to the the tenant violating the agreement, but rather the landlord may need the property back for his or her own use or simply no longer wishes to rent the property to the tenant. A landlord may terminate a month-to-month tenancy in Santa Clarita for any reason, so long as the underlying motive is not retaliatory or discriminatory.

Each Tenant Eviction in Santa Clarita is Different

The above examples can be categorized into two basic areas: the first can be considered a  tenant “at-fault” eviction, and the second can be considered a tenant “no-fault” eviction. An at-fault eviction is an eviction that is the result of something the tenant did or did not do . The tenant is being evicted due to their “fault.” A no-fault eviction is when the tenant hasn’t done anything wrong, but the landlord wants to regain possession for another reason.

This law firm has extensive experience with both types of tenant evictions in Santa Clarita, and we would be happy to discuss your tenant eviction case in detail with you through a free, no-obligation consultation. When you are ready to begin a tenant eviction in Santa Clarita or the greater SCV, please contact us to discuss your tenant eviction case through a free consultation.

Ready to Begin the Tenant Eviction?

We represent landlords only with eviction cases. We are local to the SCV and we will work hard to make the tenant eviction in Santa Clarita go as quickly and stress-free as possible for you. We understand that the eviction process can be stressful and emotional for both the landlord and the tenant.

Be sure to check out our reviews! We look forward to serving you with your tenant eviction in Santa Clarita. We offer a free consultation on most cases for SCV landlords.

Santa Clarita Evictions

Generally speaking, an eviction in Santa Clarita and the greather Santa Clarita Valley is handled out of the Chatsworth courthouse in 2019. Some evictions may take place in Lancaster, however. In the past, evictions in Santa Clarita took place at the Valencia courthouse, and then at the Pasadena courthouse. Now, though, Santa Clarita evictions take place out of the Chatsworth courthouse.

Landlords can expect a Santa Clarita eviction to take anywhere from 5-7 weeks if the case is uncontested by the tenant, or 2-3 months if the case is contested. Please note that these are average time frames only, and each case is different and provides a unique set of facts that may alter the time it actually takes to evict the tenant. Occasionally, tenants may attempt to delay the case. We can oftentimes counter this by taking swift action to speed up the case. If you need help with evicting a tenant, give us a call and we will do our best to assist you.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tenant Eviction in Santa Clarita, Valencia, and the SCV

Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals and a Landlord’s “No Pets” Policy

 

Several rental agreements include “no pets” language. This means a tenant is not allowed to have a pet of any kind at the rental property. If a tenant violates a “no pets” policy in a rental agreement, the landlord would have ground for serving the tenant a 3 day notice to cure or quit. But what happens if the tenant informs the landlord that the pet is a service animal or an emotional support animal? Must a landlord then allow such an animal to remain at the property even though it contradicts the rental agreement? The answer is a big “maybe, but likely yes.”

I previously wrote an article entitled, “Reasonable Accommodations for Rental Units for People with a Disability in California.” Essentially, landlords must be able to make reasonable accommodations to certain tenants.

There are several laws in play here, and this article is not meant to address or discuss all of these laws. The important takeaways with respect to service animals and emotional support animals as they relate to California tenancies include the following:

  • Federal and state laws require landlords to make reasonable accommodations to tenants
  • A landlord is prohibited from charging a fee as a condition of granting the accommodation (so no pet deposit or any other extra charge!)
  • Normal pet restrictions on type, size, and breed restrictions may not apply
  • The animal is not just limited to dogs or cats
  • The tenant can be required to sign reasonable rules of conduct for the animal
  • The landlord can request written verification from the tenant’s health care provider or other party that 1) the tenant meets the California definition of a disability, and 2) the animal is related to and needed for the disability. However, the landlord cannot demand that the nature of the disability be identified

The landlord may be able to deny the animal under limited circumstances, including:

  • If the animal poses a threat to the health or safety of others
  • Is creating a nuisance
  • Is damaging property

When a tenant informs the landlord that a pet is needed due to a disability or for emotional support, the landlord must act carefully and should consult with a disability attorney as well as an eviction attorney before taking action.

Posted in Evictions | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals and a Landlord’s “No Pets” Policy