Q: I'm renting a home on a month to month leases. I have rented property 3 months, & rent & water was drafted each week.

The Landlord sold property out from under me,&had said that I could buy the property & home ,having first choice of buying. The Landlord has made things inhabitable&unsanitary by cutting off the water. I dont know if property has sold or not, because Landlord has lied & mislead me in the process. The Landlord filed a Statement of Claim saying I didn't pay rent which is not true,I have proof. I have to answer statement of claim tomorrow. Am I suppose to file a counter claim when I file answer, & should I appeal this to a Civil court since it's a Civil issue. I have no where to go with 2 babies&I was never given a written notice, only this statement of claim, in which she lied to the courts. I can't afford to move my things before January 3 . I was going to file a petition asking the court for 3weeks to move my things. Since I never got a written notice.

She put her lock on water was retaliation&I am studying Alabama codes & I know it's illegal. What should file?

1 Lawyer Answer
Samuel G McKerall
Samuel G McKerall
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Gulf Shores, AL

A: The standard drill would be for me to tell you to hire a lawyer but I can tell you can't afford one. We do have legal aid in some counties in Alabama, but with your response due tomorrow (well, today, now - Tuesday) you don't have time to go to them to see if you qualify.

Here's a couple of pointers. If the landlord has really sold the property she would not be the one trying to evict you. If she's sold the property she has no legal standing to sue you. The new owner would be suing you. And you're right. Its illegal for her to try to evict you by making the property uninhabitable, such as by cutting off the water.

Here's what you do. Get paper. Write the name of the court at the top, same as the paper that was served on you. Write the the case name - that's her versus you - and the case number. Its on the paper that was served on you.

The write "For answer to the complaint the defendant says": and then follow that with your version of the story. Include every single fact, everything you said in your inquiry on here, and then anything and everything else you can think of that's relevant to your side of the story. Include especially the fact that she cut off the water. Take the paper to the court and give it to the clerk. Make the original and two copies. The clerk will keep the original. Get them to stamp "filed" on the other two copies. Mail one copy to the landlady and keep the other one. Check your mail every day after that. The court will soon set the date, place and time when the case will be tried, and will mail you a notice with all that information. You cannot allow yourself to miss the notice.

Be early to court on trial day. That will make sure you're on time. When court begins the clerk will call the roll of all cases set that day. When you hear the name of the case called out stand up and say that you are present. In most courts the case will be tried that same day. The landlady will go first, and then it will be your turn. Tell the judge your side of the story politely but firmly. Use your copy of the complaint as notes to remind you of all the things you want the judge to know.

You are going to have to leave, but this should give you some additional time. Tell the judge about your difficulties in moving quickly.

I can't make a more detailed prediction, as all of our courts are a little different due to the fact that they're not all run by the same people.

When you file your answer ask the clerk if there is a local legal aid office, and if there is, go there and see if they will help.

Good luck to you.

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