Saturday, July 29, 2006

The importance of properly filing

While in court yesterday I saw another example of how important it is to understand the eviction process before jumping in:

When their case was called up before the judge, an elder man was escorted by what I think was his son to the plaintiff's table. He was also accompanied by a young woman, who appeared to be his lawyer. The tenants did not show up.

The judge quickly started: "I have reviewed your paperwork, and think I understand why the tenants did not show up. They didn't have to."

It turns out that the woman is his property manager, and when she filed the eviction forms she signed her name instead of his, which she did not have the authority to do. So now, they'll need to refile all of the forms and wait another month to get their tenants out.

The man and the property manager tried telling the judge that since the clerk looked it over before it was accepted it should be valid. The judge cut them off, stating that it simply wasn't filed properly and that they must refile.


As I stated earlier, there are many pitfalls like this, so it is important to be fully aware of the process. If you are not (like I am), it highly pays to have a lawyer available. Also, you need to remember that if anybody is going to receive sympathy at a landlord-tenant hearing, it certainly will not be the landlord.

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