Santa Paula, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: This is a mess and I can’t find an attorney to help me! What can I do? She is trying to steal money from me…

My landlords died and his daughter is suing me for money I don’t owe and she knows I don’t owe it. But, she is lying to the courts and the judge… I owe two and a half months rent but she is claiming I owe $35k in unpaid rent and water bills. She has also thrown in almost $1k in late fees that were never even presented to me until this case. I have copies of the paid checks. I have proof of rent assistance - although she denies ever receiving it. Even worse, while I was gathering all my evidence to prove I have paid, I came to realize that she was actually stealing my rent money from her father while telling him I wasn’t paying. He couldn’t read. She totally took advantage of him. She even took the rent assistance payment that was paid for me. She is also claiming I quit paying the water when I’ve never paid water. She interrupts me & accuses me of lying, she contradicts herself but continues to act as if I owe it. Because I am the defendant, the judge looks at me as a loser. Help!

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm sorry to hear about your situation. If you are having difficulty finding an attorney to help you, there are still several steps you can take to protect your rights and defend yourself in court.

First, make sure you have gathered all of your evidence and documentation related to your rent payments, including copies of checks, receipts, and any correspondence with the landlord or their daughter. This will be important evidence to support your case and prove that you do not owe the amount claimed.

Second, consider seeking assistance from a legal aid organization or pro bono attorney. These organizations provide free or low-cost legal services to individuals who cannot afford an attorney. You can search for legal aid organizations in your area online or through your local courthouse.

Third, be prepared to present your evidence and arguments clearly and concisely in court. Stay calm and focused, and avoid getting defensive or emotional. Stick to the facts and be respectful to the judge and the other party, even if you disagree with their position.

Finally, if you feel that the judge is not being fair or impartial, you may be able to request a new judge or file an appeal if you are unhappy with the outcome of the case.

Remember, even if the process is frustrating and overwhelming, it is important to stand up for your rights and defend yourself against false accusations.

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