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998 offer vs paying entire amount of debt. Would I prevail in a 998 offer under these circumstances...is it worth it?

Long Beach, CA |

Sued by my HOA for unpaid dues. Negotiated a settlement of roughly $15000. All of a sudden they throw in a stipulation order for permanant injunction of my dogs, stating if my dogs pee on the balcony, or I void terms of agreement, then I will have to remove dogs from property. This claim was not mentioned in original lawsuit, just mention of the debt. They are now saying there will be no setllement without the signed stipulation order, but this dog issue has been resolved for several months and also paying a $3500 fine(included in settlement). I don't even allow them on the balcony. I really don't want to give up my rights to my dogs. The original debt is currently $19000. About $7000 of that is fines $3500 for dogs and $3500 for door handle. They both started as $100 and basically doubled every month for 7 months. Should I proceed with 998 offer or just offer to pay off enitre debt of $19000 without stipulated order?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This is the second question you have posted recently regarding this matter. You should follow your attorney's advice. If you do not have an attorney, you should consult and retain one.

    You need legal training to make a 998 offer and knowledge of the facts and you should have an attorney review the offer and facts with you before you accept one. Perhaps you want to ignore the offer and make one for yourself. Or, settle the matter pursuant to a settlement agreement and release.

    Your question does not contain enough information for anyone here to advise you regarding a 998 offer. Good luck.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  2. I whole-heatedly agree with Attorney Daymude that your question does not contain enough information for anyone here to advise you regarding a CCP 998 offer of com[promise.

    Generally speaking, a 998 offer of compromise is useful only when the parties anticipate the necessity to hire a plethora of expert witnesses before trial. Otherwise, a 998 offer is not all that useful in a HOA dispute involving unpaid assessments.

    Moreover, the consequences of making and accepting (or rejecting) a 998 offer are somewhat complicated for even lawyers to understand.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


  3. I agree with the other attorneys on this one. A CCP 998 Offer is really used to put pressure on the other side, such that if you are using expert witnesses in your case, the court has discretion to award reasonable expert fees if you achieve a better result than your CCP 998.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.

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