Eviction and Settlement Conference Training

Report
Eviction and Settlement Conference
Training
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Jason Tarricone
Joyce Song
Goals of CLSEPA’s Housing
Practice

Maintain and increase decent, safe, and affordable
housing for low-income people on the Peninsula,
with a focus on East Palo Alto;

Work with tenants to increase knowledge of their
rights, and develop and refine problem-solving skills;

Work with tenants to keep them in their homes and
smooth their transition to new homes.
Overview of Training
Example Cases
 Anatomy of an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit
 Grounds for Eviction and Common
Defenses
 Types of Settlement
 Settlement Considerations
 MSC Clinic – What to Expect

What is an Unlawful Detainer?
 Expedited
action for possession of
premises
 Priority in setting for trial
 Possession is the only issue
 Eviction by sheriff by writ after
judgment entered and writ issued
Anatomy of a UD
Notice to Quit/Vacate

Landlord files/serves Summons and Complaint

Tenant files Answer/Other Response or Tenant does nothing


LL files Memo to Set Case for Trial
LL obtains default

T files Counter-Memorandum

Trial: set within 8-20 days of LL memo

Judgment for Tenant

Judgment for LL Writ of Possession 
Sheriff posts Notice to Vacate  T files for
stay of eviction
Grounds for Eviction




30-day notice or 60-day notice (term 1 year plus)
60-day (mobilehome) or 14-day (public housing)
90-day for eviction due to foreclosure
3-day notice (in alternative if breach can be
cured)
Non-Payment of Rent
 Notice to Cure Covenant or Quit
 Incurable breach

Commission of waste, nuisance, unlawful use of premises
 Dealing illegal drugs

Defenses to Three-Day Notice
to Pay Rent or Quit


The landlord refused to accept the rent offered
in full
The landlord accepted the rent


The amount of rent demanded is even slightly
greater than amount due


Does tenant have a receipt?
Especially important in rent-stabilized jurisdictions!
Breach of the implied warranty of habitability

Possibility of back-firing if premises not habitable
Defenses to 30- or 60-Day Notice




Retaliation
Discrimination
In East Palo Alto, good cause required to evict
Disability discrimination, including failure to
provide a reasonable accommodation

Definition of disability: substantially limits a major
life activity
-includes severe psychiatric disorders
-inform Landlord in writing of accommodations needed
Defenses to 3-Day Notice
to Quit / or to Cure or Quit
 Deny
allegations
 Discrimination
 Failure to accommodate disability
 Retaliation
Settlement

Timing: before or during litigation




Most often at pre-trial Mandatory Settlement Conference
Happens every Thursday morning for cases going to trial the
following Monday
Another opportunity to settle before trial Monday morning
Factors




Does client want to move or have another place to move to?
If client wants to stay, how much rent or amount due can client
pay and by when?
Trading additional time to vacate
Strength of defenses
Pay-and-Stay Settlement
LL agrees to let tenant stay in exchange for
tenant agreeing to pay what is due or cure lease
violations
 Is tenancy sustainable???
 Tenant may have to pay LL’s fees and costs
 LL may agree to a payment plan and may agree
to fix habitability problems

Waive-and-Go Settlement
AKA “move-out deal”
 Tenant agrees to move out by X date
 Generally, longer stays will mean rent is not
waived
 More time may be better so that tenant can find
a new home
 Remember that if tenant loses at trial but has
rent money, tenant can stay eviction for up to 40
days by paying pro-rated rent amount to Court

Sealing the Record
Record is sealed for 60 days after filing of
complaint
 Parties can agree to extend sealing or masking
period
 Especially important for a move-out deal –
tenant will be looking for a new place to live
 Try to seal until 1 to 2 months after date of move
out or final payment

Structure of the Agreement
Agreements are usually written as stipulations to be
signed by the MSC judge
 Try to structure so that judgment is entered only
upon default by tenant
 If tenant complies, LL should dismiss the case
 Important to dismiss before record is unsealed
 Once signed, tenant appears before judge, who signs
stipulation

Alternative to Settlement




Trial is in four days
If tenant loses, Sheriff could enforce writ of
possession in about 7 to 10 days
Record will be unsealed
If tenant wins, and rent is owed, tenant will have
to pay immediately
Settlement Conference Materials



Intake Sheet
Brief Services Agreement
Sample Stipulations
Pay and Stay
 Move Out


Pink Sheet – Tenant Reminder
Questions?

Clinic Details:
Every Thursday morning, 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon
 San Mateo Superior Court, 400 County Center,
Redwood City, CA
 Bring quarters for meters!!


Contact us:
650-326-6440
 [email protected] or [email protected]

similar documents