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Sued Twice for Same Apartmet - 4 years apart

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Noreen Garcia, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Noreen Garcia

    Noreen Garcia Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Greetings - I was sued twice for the same apartment, almost 4 years apart.

    1st Case: This was entered into the court September 9, 2015. The cost was $2,353.28, which included the following:

    · Past due rent: $650

    · Holdover Damages: $613.28

    · Attorney Fees: $750

    · Costs: $340

    Judgement was entered and I received a Full Satisfaction of Judgment dated July 22, 2016.

    2nd Case: This was entered into the court on May 10, 2019 (approx. 3 years and 8 months after the first lawsuit).

    The cost was $8,753.19, which included the following:

    · Damages, including breach of contract: $5,586.88

    · Prejudgment interest: 10% = $1,784.53

    · Attorney fees: $1,088.03

    · Costs: $293.75

    Having received this Full Satisfaction of Judgment in the 2015 case, it was my understanding that I was released from having to pay any additional fees. I thought everything was taken care of, until about 4 years later I got hit with a bigger lawsuit for the same apartment. I will be paying approximately $12k for this tiny apartment and I wasn’t even there a year. I know the damages were not significant, if any at all, and now they charge interest, waiting almost 4 years to file it – just under the statute. I have tried to compromise with the attorney and property management company but they are not cooperating. They have been garnishing my wages since November 2019, and I’m on the verge of bankruptcy. This just doesn’t seem fair at all and I am just searching to see if anyone has any suggestions on what else I could do. Thank you.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If "they" have been garnishing your wages, that means that you aren't "being sued", rather, you "have been sued" and LOST.
    What happened with the second case? Did you go to court?
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming (and, for your sake, hoping) that "entered into the court" means that 5/10/19 was the date that the lawsuit was filed. If that's correct, what did you do in response to being served with the summons and complaint? When were you served with the summons and complaint in this second lawsuit?

    What you should have done is contact the plaintiff's lawyer and remind or advise him/her about the prior lawsuit, the resulting judgment, and your satisfaction of the judgment. If necessary, you should have sent him/her copies of the complaint, judgment and acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment. You should have demanded dismissal of the second lawsuit and, if that didn't happen, you should have moved for immediate dismissal (in California, this procedure is called a demurrer). Apparently you didn't do any or all of those things, and I'm wondering why not.

    While you did not expressly say so, apparently, a new judgment has been entered against you in the amount of $8,753.19 (that must be the case because your wages could not be garnished for something like this without a judgment) If so, what was the date of entry of judgment and on what date did you receive notice that this second judgment was entered? Have you contacted the plaintiff's lawyer to discuss the situation?

    That's four months ago. What have you been doing over that time to deal with this?

    Depending on the answers to my questions and how long has passed since the second judgment was entered, you may be able to get the judgment set aside and then seek to have the lawsuit dismissed based on something called res judicata. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. section 473(b). However, that you have apparently been sitting on your hands for many months isn't going to help you.
     
  4. Oren

    Oren New Member

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