Monday, June 30, 2014

Red County or Blue County, part 2

So back to X County and Y County from last week, and another of California's laws.

Code of Civil Procedure 1161.2(a)(6):

In the case of a complaint involving residential property based on Section 1161a as indicated in the caption of the complaint [a post-foreclosure eviction], ...  [the court clerk may allow access to the court's file only as follows] to any other person [the public], if 60 days have elapsed since the complaint was filed with the court, and, as of that date, judgment against all defendants has been entered for the plaintiff, after a trial. If judgment is not entered under the conditions described in this paragraph, the clerk shall not allow access to any court records in the action, except as provided in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive.

 Interpretations as follows:

X County -- If the case was resolved by conducting a trial [not settled by agreement], and judgment was entered for Plaintiff against all Defendants, and the trial and judgment occurred within 60 days of the date the Complaint was filed, then the court's file is available for viewing by the public.  Otherwise, the court's file is NOT available for viewing by the public.

Y County -- The court's file is always available for viewing by the public, unless a Motion and very good cause is shown, see my post from last week.  If the parties reach an agreement on the day of trial [which is how most eviction cases are resolved], the court's file is still public, because the agreement was reached AT TRIAL.

For post-foreclosure evictions, most Defendants will file frivolous demurrers and other motions, causing trial to be held after the 60th day, in hopes that (1) they get more time in the property, usually under the mistaken belief they won't have to pay for the additional time, and (2) the court case won't show up on their credit report as an eviction.  This strategy works in some counties but not in others.  It also annoys new property owners because they have to pay additional legal fees to oppose these groundless demurrers and other motions, and many courts won't penalize Defendants for doing so.

Thankfully for new owners, most courts understand this stall tactic and/or are not happy with the wasting of court time and resources.  Therefore, most courts are ruling on the frivolous demurrers and other motions within a few days of filing, without waiting for the hearing date, and/or the courts are allowing new owners to file ex parte applications to advance the hearing date to the date of the ex parte.  Some courts even set an OSC re Sanctions, requiring these Defendants to explain the filing of the frivolous demurrers and/or motions, and imposing a penalty [usually $250-$500] for wasting the court's and the Plaintiff's time.

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