Friday, June 27, 2008

Tenant Friendly Courts

I wanted to share an experience from life on the circuit earlier this week that speaks to the above.

I was in court ostensibly just to get a continuance and issue an Alias Summons. My client/landlord is in the process of suing two defendants, a landlord and a personal guarantor, for money and possession of a rental unit. It's a commercial property.

A money judgment and Order for Possession had been entered at the first court date against the tenant/entity. I was in court this week because we hadn't yet gotten proper service on the individual guarantor.

So I step up on my case and summarize the above to the court and say I just want a continuance and an Alias Summons to issue...should have been a 5 minute court date. Instead I virtually had to retry the case against the first defendant (different judge from first court date). The court wanted to see all the orders, questioned the rent and demanded the rent ledger that provided the basis for the judgment. I thought my Order for Possession was going to get vacated and I was the only person in court (no defendant). Just a tale to beware.

I hear many of the pro bono tenant groups out there talking about how terrible tenants have it in the forcible courts but that's not my experience.


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