08-21-2008, 07:42 PM #1
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Potential default judgement in civill suit (quit claim deed)
In 2002, mom quit claim deed her home as joint tenant to me for safe keeping. In event she died, she wanted to avoid probate. Prior to deeding to me, home was 100% deeded to my sister. Mom and sis fought, and my mom than deeded to me.
Mom now in a fight with me and she wanted home deeded back so she could deed to my 18 year old daughter. The fight ensued over my 18 year old daughter who dropped out of college after failing every class and was on academic probation for drinking. We took her car away since she had no job and dropped out of school. Daughter is mad and moves in with grandmother. Grandmother buys her new car and says stay her with grandma. Me and mom fight over my daughter..accusations of who was a worse mother..all kinds of unpleasantness I am sure attorneys hear all the time. A few weeks later, Mom files lawsuit to "quiet title" and take me off deed.
In suit, she claims that she only temporaily deeded to me until she got a will and that I knew that. Needless to say, this was never discussed. The home was 100% deeded to sister, it was "safe" there. In addition, she deed home in 2002, this is now 2008, obviously it was for long term and not just for her to get will. I consult an attorney and ask him what to do. I do not want my mom or I to incur large attorney fees since house only worth $140,000 AND both she and I have my kids best interest in mind (although my daughter is too reckless at this point to be entrusted with a potential asset).
My attorney said talk to her attorney and ask for deed for dismissal and we each pay own attorney fees. I call her attorney. He says great, he will get deed in mail, I notorize and return to him. I did not get deed for two weeks, so I call to let him know. He says mom does not want to pay her attorney fees so she will not dismiss, but he is working on her, so hang in there.
That was April 08.
By June, I still did not hear anything. I call her attorney and he says just be patient, he is not "sandbagging me", (those were his exact words). He said he would not default me, that he would keep me posted. I get a letter on August 20th (his office sent the 18th) and order says I either sign deed back to him by August 29th or they will default me on August 29th. I have no time to prepare.
In the event it goes to default judgement, I suspect I will lose title (which I already offered to return)...but it is the other costs that concern me? He is asking for title cancellation, quiet title, an injunction from me selling, reasonable attorneys fees, Costs of suit, AND FOR SUCH OTHER FURTHER RELIEF AS THE COURT MAY DEEM JUST< EQUITABLE AND PROPER????
I live in California. Are attorney fees, etc awarded in default judgements (and all that other stuff)? Any help or advice would be appreciated. I am disheartened that my mom would lie in her complaint, and even more disheartened to have to pay for her attorney because of those lies. Since I already offered to deed the home back, this is just for spite. Had she let the situation calm down, we could have resolved this outside of court, but her attorney has her convinced she will not pay a dime in fees, that I will have to pay for them, so she is completely unwilling to settle. In fact, I had a neutral third party call to try and resolve amicably, and the third party said all my mom kept repeating over and over again in conversation was "This is not going to cost me a penny". She kept repeating that statement over and over again, until third party said it was futile to try and connect with her.