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Are tenants required to have their own lawyers if I now retained a lawyer to substitute in?

San Jose, CA |

I retained a lawyer to substitute on my behalf to evict my clients. My lawyer filed a request for a hearing. If once we have a schedule for hearing, if the tenants do not have a lawyer to represent them, are they required to have one and will then have to resched? If so, what can I ask my lawyer to somewhat make sure it does not resched on the date of the hearing. Money is really tight that's why I trying to minimize the appearance in court of my lawyer.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Parties to a lawsuit are not required to have attorneys unless they are entities, like a corporation. Individual defendants are not required to have attorneys to represent them.

    Preventing delay in litigation is like herding cats. Plaintiff attorneys can make lots of diligent efforts to avoid delay, and can be somewhat successful, but delay is not completely controllable.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  2. parties to an action can represent themselves w/o a lawyer (is called "pro se"). However, nothing can stop a judge from granting an adjournment at a hearing if the tenants show up and look like they really should have counsel....in which case the judge will surely reschedule the hearing if they even whisper the words "we are looking for an attorney but need a little more time" Sorry...

    This is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of an attorney should be obtained.


  3. The tenants are not required to have an attorney just because you have one. If they show up in Court and tell the judge they need time to get an attorney, there is probably nothing you or your attorney can do to prevent that. A judge will probably grant such a request, but only for a short period of time.
    I suspect that if your tenants do not have money to pay the rent (just a guess) they will not have money to pay an attorney either.
    If you want to avoid making appearances in court, then ask your attorney to work something out with the tenants. Maybe you can give them a few weeks to leave in return for them agreeing to a judgment. Your attorney should be able to help you with this.

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