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Unlawful detainer judgment in California reversed due to defective three-day notice

Another unlawful detainer judgment in California has been reversed due to a defective three-day notice. The case of Foster v. Williams recently decided by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in Los Angeles County, California is the topic of this blog post. The decision in this case which was filed on September 9, 2014 has been certified for publication. The decision reversed the judgment entered against the defendant Keith Williams due to a defective three-day notice and one of the grounds was that the notice failed to specify the physical address where rent had to be paid, instead listing only a name and directing the tenant to pay the rent at an online rental payment website.

The slip opinion at page 2 states that the judgment was reversed because “The three-day notice did not comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 1161, (erroneously listed as 1162 in the slip opinion) subdivision (2)’s requirement that the notice provide the “address of the person to whom the rent payment shall be made” because the notice listed a uniform resource locator (URL) address, as opposed to the address of a physical place where the rent had to be paid. The notice also did not comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 1161, (erroneously listed as 1162 in the slip opinion) subdivision (2), because it failed to state that payment could be made pursuant to a previously established electronic funds transfer procedure.”

The slip opinion at page 2 states regarding the three-day notice at issue that “Plaintiff’s unlawful detainer action proceeded to trial based on a three-day notice to pay rent or quit. The three-day notice indicated it was served on defendant on June 24, 2013, and required him to pay $1,350 in rent for the month of June 2013. The notice also provided, “Your rent payment should be made payable to: Guest House Management and payment shall be delivered to: [¶] Name: Rick at the following address: http://www.erentpayment.com,” and listed a telephone number. On the day set for trial, defendant made an oral motion arguing the three-day notice was defective because it included a “web address” instead of a “physical address.” The court denied the motion, determining Code of Civil Procedure section 1161, subdivision (2), did not specifically require a physical address to be listed, and a “web address” constituted an “address” under the statute.”

The Appellate Division decision then went to discuss in detail the reasons for the requirements of a three-day notice under Code of Civil Procedure section 1161, subdivision (2) and on pages 3 and 4 of the slip opinion states in part that, “A judgment must be reversed when it is based on a three-day notice which lacks the information required by Code of Civil Procedure section 1161, subdivision (2).”

I have seen numerous defective three-day notices as I have been working in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and prior to that I worked in both commercial and residential property management for several years.

This case is just one more reason that any California tenant who is served with a three-day notice to pay rent or quit should closely examine the notice to determine if it meets the requirements discussed in this blog post. If the three-day notice is defective than a demurer can be filed objecting to the complaint on the grounds that the three-day notice is defective.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of an 11 page sample demurrer to an unlawful detainer (eviction) complaint in California objecting to the complaint on several grounds, including that the three-day notice is defective, with memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority and proof of service by mail sold by the author can see below.

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

To view over 300 sample legal documents for sale by the author of this blog post visit the following link: http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 255 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

You can view sample legal document packages for sale by going to http://www.legaldocspro.com/downloads.aspx

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. what if you are served repeated 3 day notices (sometimes two within days of each other) after the owner of the rental you live states he has decided to hire a property manager to evict you? between January and June of 2016 a total of 6 3 day notices were taped to our door. None of them reflected any accurate indication of owed rent. After attempting to communicate with the owner of the property, who happens to be my brother in law, and the property manager who was hired and is paid by my mother n law, there was no response other than a new amount that we owed stated in an email that was never indicated on any of the 6 3 day notices with a declaration that this was the “end of the discussion” re what he stated we owed in back rent.
    if we did owe any rent, it would be because the owner of the property decided to arbitrarily refuse rent in January of 2016 for 6 months in advance. The property manager declared that he was NOT there to evict us after we gave him a more definitive view of this family squabble gone way too far. We indicated that this was connected to a bigger and much more severe situation which had put us into a position that caused us to fall behind in rent for November of the previous year that the people that are paying him are responsible for. He did indicate he understood that there was family involved, but everything he said was counter indicative of what he did.

    we are now waiting for our case to be heard. unfortunately, the legal aid center never indicated anything about the demurrer process which is something i have come to understand as the first way to be done with this. Seeing that we are currently trying to find an attorney to represent my wife regarding the bigger issue connected to this, i am hoping we will be able to secure services to assist us in this matter as well. but i am not comfortable standing by and waiting, considering that it has been more than difficult to find an attorney.

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