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Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Chen’s Answers

23,068 total


  • Co-signer refuse to pay rent during the lease

    My ex-coworker and I signed a multiple tenant contract with a landlord. The contract has our three names(landlord, ex-coworker, and I). Now my ex-coworker found another job and moved out of the house, then she refused to pay her half of the rent....

    Frank’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you and ex-coworked signed the same lease agreement, you are bound by it. This means that you are jointly liable to pay the entire rent, not just half. Therefore, the landlord could elect to evict both of you for failure to pay the full amount of the rent. Your options are to pay the full rent (and sue the ex-coworker in small claims court for her half for each month that you had to pay the full rent), or ask the landlord if you can amend the lease agreement to allow you to find a suitable, qualified co-tenant.

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  • Defendants demurrer sustained to all causes of action, what now?

    I had 10 causes of action on first amended complaint, included copy of the contract, provided the who, what , where all the w"s in the complaint, , the demurrer hearing was not transcribed, but I do thve the tentative and the complaint speaks for ...

    Frank’s Answer

    If the court sustained the demurrer with leave to amend, your recourse is to file an amended complaint within the time allotted. If the court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend, you have 10 days to file a motion for reconsideration. However, such motion would not likely be granted. Specifically, California Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(a) provides as follows:

    "When an application for an order has been made to a
    judge, or to a court, and refused in whole or in part, or granted, or
    granted conditionally, or on terms, any party affected by the order
    may, within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of
    entry of the order and based upon new or different facts,
    circumstances, or law, make application to the same judge or court
    that made the order, to reconsider the matter and modify, amend, or
    revoke the prior order. The party making the application shall state
    by affidavit what application was made before, when and to what
    judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different
    facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown."

    The deadline to file a notice of appeal depends upon whether the case is limited jurisdiction or unlimited jurisdiction. Also, the time allowed to file a Notice of Appeal depends on whether there was a notice of entry of judgment and, if so, when it was served or whether there was a timely motion (for new trial, to vacate the judgment, for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or for reconsideration) that, when denied, extends the time.

    When a party files a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, the party should be especially cognizant of the time period in which to file an appeal. California Rules of Court, Rule 8.108 (e) provides:

    "If any party serves and files a valid motion to reconsider an appealable order under Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, subdivision (a), the time to appeal from that order is extended for all parties until the earliest of:
    (1) 30 days after the superior court clerk or a party serves an order denying the motion or a notice of entry of that order;
    (2) 90 days after the first motion to reconsider is filed; or
    (3) 180 days after entry of the appealable order."

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  • Defendants demurrer sustained to all causes of action, what now?

    I had 10 causes of action on first amended complaint, included copy of the contract, provided the who, what , where all the w"s in the complaint, , the demurrer hearing was not transcribed, but I do thve the tentative and the complaint speaks for ...

    Frank’s Answer

    If the court sustained the demurrer with leave to amend, your recourse is to file an amended complaint within the time allotted. If the court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend, you have 10 days to file a motion for reconsideration. However, such motion would not likely be granted. Specifically, California Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(a) provides as follows:

    "When an application for an order has been made to a
    judge, or to a court, and refused in whole or in part, or granted, or
    granted conditionally, or on terms, any party affected by the order
    may, within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of
    entry of the order and based upon new or different facts,
    circumstances, or law, make application to the same judge or court
    that made the order, to reconsider the matter and modify, amend, or
    revoke the prior order. The party making the application shall state
    by affidavit what application was made before, when and to what
    judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different
    facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown."

    The deadline to file a notice of appeal depends upon whether the case is limited jurisdiction or unlimited jurisdiction. Also, the time allowed to file a Notice of Appeal depends on whether there was a notice of entry of judgment and, if so, when it was served or whether there was a timely motion (for new trial, to vacate the judgment, for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or for reconsideration) that, when denied, extends the time.

    When a party files a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, the party should be especially cognizant of the time period in which to file an appeal. California Rules of Court, Rule 8.108 (e) provides:

    "If any party serves and files a valid motion to reconsider an appealable order under Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, subdivision (a), the time to appeal from that order is extended for all parties until the earliest of:
    (1) 30 days after the superior court clerk or a party serves an order denying the motion or a notice of entry of that order;
    (2) 90 days after the first motion to reconsider is filed; or
    (3) 180 days after entry of the appealable order."

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  • How do I remove my daughter's name from my deed. With out her signature. She has never paid a dime towards the mortgage.

    Quiet and easy

    Frank’s Answer

    Typically, if your daughter is not willing to sign a quitclaim or grant deed to relinquish her ownership interest, the only option is to file a lawsuit to quiet title. A quiet title action is used when a person claims legal ownership to real property, or wishes to remove unauthorized or improper liens clouding the title. In California, to assert a cause of action to quiet title, the complaint must be verified and meet the other pleading requirements set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 761.020: (1) a legal description of the property and street address; (2) title of plaintiff and basis of title; (3) adverse claims to title of plaintiff; (4) date as of which determination is sought; and (5) a prayer for determination of title of plaintiff against adverse claims.

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  • Can next home owner evict current tenants whose lease is not up yet?

    What is the fastest and proper way to get rid of existing tenants of a home that I purchased and want to move into? Escrow is about to close, and the tenants have an existing lease with the current owners.

    Frank’s Answer

    Most likely, no. A new owner who purchases the house takes ownership subject to any unexpired lease agreement. Unless there is a provision in that lease which provides that the lease terminates upon a sale of the property, the tenant is entitled to remain a tenant so long as the tenant pays rent and complies with the terms of the lease agreement. You will not be able to terminate the lease earlier without mutual agreement with the tenant (which will normally require a buy-out, i.e. payment to the tenant to move out).

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  • Landlord has not returned my security deposit. Our lease was month to month after 1-year. I resided at said premise for

    3-1/2 years. Per our lease agreement any request and notifications were to be verbal and approval by landlord was also to be verbal. (my actual lease has the words "written" approval crossed out and the word "verbal" handwritten in place of. Th...

    Frank’s Answer

    If you did not receive your security deposit back within 21 days after you moved out, you can file your small claims lawsuit. A tenant who does not receive a return of the security deposit from the landlord will often need to sue the landlord in small claims court to get the security deposit back. However, the risk is that the landlord like yours will most likely countersue you the tenant for damages above and beyond what the security deposit covered. So if you do decide to sue, make sure your Plaintiff's Claim asks for bad faith retention penalties under Civil Code Section 1950.5(l).

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  • Can anyone point me to a book in the law library that would help me with pleading punitive damages?

    The other side wants to strike out my allegations for punitive damages. After their first motion to strike, the court gave me leave to amend and I alleged the punitive damages more clearly. They now filed another motion to again strike the punit...

    Frank’s Answer

    The best practice guide to use would be "California Forms of Pleading and Practice" published by Mathew Bender.

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  • For a motion to strike, can the alleged improper matter be put in the exhibits instead in the motion to strike?

    I got served with a motion to strike portions of my complaint. the matters that Defendants allege are improper got attached as exhibits instead of put in their motion to strike. They state that "For the purpose of brevity, Defendants attach the...

    Frank’s Answer

    So long as it is clear which portions of the complaint the moving defendants seek to have stricken, it should be acceptable to refer to and incoporate by reference the specific allegations in a separate exhibit attached to the memorandum of points and authorities. The notice of motion, however, must also be specific enough as to which portions of the complaint the moving defendants seek to strike.

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  • Tenant refuses to leave even served the 30-day notice, what do I do?

    Has been late on rent (have no written records except for one email/however owner of house is witness to late payments), Broke blinds and window screen to room, causing/creating substantial mess in kitchen and bathroom in the past and became defia...

    Frank’s Answer

    You will need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in order to evict this tenant. The UD can be based upon the 30 day notice, or a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit. I don't suggest that you try evicting the tenant yourself without an attorney, since UD cases are procedurally technical. You are going to need professional help in order to obtain a writ of possession that the sheriff can serve and ultimately lock out this tenant.

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  • Corp filed a civil suit in pro per? I need to answer?

    In my response to his civil suit how do I say that the CEO of the corp is not an attorney? Is there any affirmative defenses that says this? He is even asking for attorney fees. I believe he is posing as his father who passed. His father was...

    Frank’s Answer

    You need to respond to the summons and complaint. In such a situation, the most appropriate responsive pleading is a motion to strike the entire complaint. A motion to strike under Code of Civil Procedure section 435 et seq. is traditionally used to reach pleading defects that are not subject to demurrer. (CLD Construction, Inc. v. City of San Ramon (2004) 120 Cal. App. 4th 1141, 1146.) The basis for the motion to strike is that a corporation is not a natural person, and therefore cannot appear in an action in propria persona. It can appear only through counsel. (Merco Construction Engineers, Inc. v. Mun.Ct. (Sully Miller Contracting Co.) (1978) 21 Cal.3d 724, 731.) The motion to strike should argue that a corporation, unlike a natural person, cannot represent itself before courts of record in propria persona, nor can it represent itself through a corporate officer, director or other employee who is not an attorney. It must be represented by licensed counsel in proceedings before courts of record. (Caressa Camille, Inc. v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Bd. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1101-1103).

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