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Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Chen’s Answers

23,765 total


  • Do I have a case for taking my previous landlord to small claims court?

    I had walked through the condo a month before I was set to move in and there where several things that needed to be fixed. The place was a mess and there was a hole in the floor and trim boards falling off the walls. His previous tenants had just ...

    Frank’s Answer

    Yes, you may have a viable case for breach of contract. It is not entirely clear from your post whether you are at the beginning of your tenancy or are asking about a return of a security deposit. Regardless, the success of your case is going to depend upon the strength of your evidence (e.g., the condution of the condo the month prior, the evidence showing the problems you saw on that first day, the expense you incurred to live elsewhere).

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  • What does "claim of title" in adverse possession cases mean?

    What does "claim of title" mean in adverse possession cases? Is this a document? Just an informal statement?

    Frank’s Answer

    It is not a document. Rather, it is an assertion of having a legal right to ownership to the real property. For adverse possession in California, the claimant must meet all of the elements. The elements necessary to establish ownership of real property by adverse possession in California are as follows: (1) the payment of taxes, (2) actual possession which is (3) open and notorious, (4) continuous and uninterrupted for five years, (5) hostile and adverse to the true owner's title, and (6) under either color of title or claim of right. (California Maryland Funding, Inc. v. Lowe (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 1798, 1803.)

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  • Do I need a Real Estate Attorney ?

    my 12 acre property has a note due in 90 days ($10,600) and have decided I want to sell it. I would like to "sell by owner" . What's the latest I have to list it >>?? What's the best way to proceed ? Thank you.

    Frank’s Answer

    Even if the note will be due soon, it does not necessarily dictate when you have to list the property for sale. Rather than seek a real estate attorney, you should consult with a real estate broker. You will more likely obtain a better offer than trying to sell it yourself. Moreover, the real estate broker will greatly assist you in making sure the entire transaction goes smoothly.

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  • Can a non lawyer draft/fill out a complaint for a corporation? Then file it and appear in court at hearing?

    I received a tro and a notice of hearing. I checked the petition and it was not signed and dated. The court still accepted it? I was advised not to attend the hearing because a non lawyer filled out and filed the complaint and it was void. And c...

    Frank’s Answer

    Generally speaking, no, a non-attorney cannot appear in litigation on behalf of a corporation. 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.) However, with respect to your particular situation, an attorney would need to conduct a more in-depth analysis of the various errors you mention.

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  • Is a claim for relief in a federal civil case the same as?

    a cause of action in a state civil action. I was reading two complaints on the same issue but use different language. Is there a difference?

    Frank’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, in federal court, we use "claim for relief" whereas in state superior court, we use "cause of action".

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  • How long does it take for the judge to rule on a Motion for Summary Judgment in Central District Court of California?

    Approximate time, that is. Thank you.

    Frank’s Answer

    There is no uniform answer amongst the various judges in the Central District of California. You don't indicate in your post whether this is a federal district judge or a magistrate judge. Regardless, much is going to depend upon the complexity of the issues raised in the summary judgment motion, as well as the particular judge.

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  • Can I sue landlord for renting illegal unit, and getting back my security deposit + 6 months rent?

    I was in a situation last year from 06/2014 to 12/2014 renting an illegal unit garage converted into a backhouse/ studio. The contract was a year, but i stayed only for 6 months. MY landlord was given a prior warning back in 05/2011 not to rent o...

    Frank’s Answer

    Yes you can sue. .If the converted garage is illegal, then under the case of Gruzen v. Henry (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 515, the landlord is not entitled to collect or request any rent. California law does not reward a landlord who has an illegal structure, and punishes the landlord by declaring the contract leasing that structure "void." Although not all judges will award a refund of rent paid, you are most likely able to win a claim for the return of your security deposit.

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  • In an Unlawful Detainer, the named defendant and the DOES were served the Prejudgment Claim form by a Registered Process Server.

    I know that the named defendant has 5 days to file a response whereas the DOES have 10 days to file a response. On day 6 I would like to file a Default against the named defendant using form CIV-100 to prevent that person from filing a re...

    Frank’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Correct. You would file a Request for Entry of Default against the named defendant first, and a separate Request for Entry of Default against All Other Occupants later.

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  • As a co signer do I have to respond to a summons

    I cosign for my brother its been past a year and they are getting sued for not paying rent on time which they tried and manager didn't accept it they still have the money order

    Frank’s Answer

    The issue is whether or not you are named as a defendant on the summons, not whether or not you are a co-signor. If you are named on the summons, you need to respond or else a default judgment will be entered against you.

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  • Property in my storage

    Please help me

    Frank’s Answer

    You need to clarify what your question or issue is.

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