Thursday, August 10, 2006

Unexpected turn of events: Court hearing (apparently) at 9am tomorrow

Well, things took an unexpected turn today.

So the Warrant of Removal was served, and I've set up an appointment with the court officer to take back the property next week.

Then today, at around 3:30pm, I received a call from my lawyer's secretary. It turns out that my tenants filed an Order to Show Cause today, which means that there is an emergency court hearing scheduled for tomorrow where my tenants will have the opportunity to convince the judge to halt the eviction process, thus allowing them to stay for (at least?) the rest of the month. Remember, they now owe me three months rent, over $500 in attorney fees, and over $200 in late fees (actually, according to our contract they owe me $10 a day after the 6th of the month, but on the forms that have been filed $200 was listed).

The first problem, is that I personally have to appear in court, I cannot be represented solely by my attorney. Secondly, they only schedule landlord tenant matters on Fridays, so if I want to get them out next week, I have to show up tomorrow. This is regardless of whether or not I have an important meeting that I _need_ to be at tomorrow at 3pm. This is also regardless of whether my attorney is booked all morning and cannot show up until at least 1:30pm.

So, I'm going to go by myself at 9am, and then teleconference my attorney in so that he can hear/participate while he's doing the other stuff that he needs to do (the court apparently has the facilities for this).

On the form the tenants filled out, they crossed out the section about the tenant paying what they owe. They say that they do not have the money, but potentially will come up with it (They've mentioned an unrelated settlement, but they've said that several months ago and I no longer buy it).

The thing I don't understand is how they haven't cared about getting booted out _since June_, and now the court is even considering stepping in to slow it down? Now we just have to wait and see.

An Order to Show Cause, according to Nolo's legal definition

An order from a judge that directs a party to come to court and convince the judge why she shouldn't grant an action proposed by the other side or by the judge on her own (sua sponte). For example, in a divorce, at the request of one parent a judge might issue an order directing the other parent to appear in court on a particular date and time to show cause why the first parent should not be given sole physical custody of the children. Although it would seem that the person receiving an order to show cause is at a procedural disadvantage--she, after all, is the one who is told to come up with a convincing reason why the judge shouldn't order something--both sides normally have an equal chance to convince the judge to rule in their favor.

I'll keep you up to date...

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