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Can an eviction mill type attorney share the names of tenants with all the landlords he represents?

Oakland, CA |

There's a lawyer in my area that specializes in nasty, brutish and quick evictions. He chargers a flat rate and guarantees the tenant will be gone -usually settling the case. He's the house lawyer for an apartment & landlord association, too. He took a run at me a year ago despite paying my rent early for 10 years. Apparently I had been there too long. Net/net, when I called his bluff, he settled the case with close to years rent + moving costs. I made sure that the owner couldn't blacklist me to tenant screening sites, credit bureau or any future landlord. The settlement required that attorney had to back LL up if asked. He happens to also represent my new LL and has been feeding her information about my old case. Now my LL thinks I'm trouble. Isn't it some sort of misconduct?

The case was settled before the 60 day deadline. Even if it hadn't been settled before the 60 day delayed access, the LL would not have known to look for such records. What would have tipped her off to do so? My tenant screen, rental history and credit record are clean - I had them pulled 2 days ago to be sure -there's no record of it. Additionally, the lawyer references it in a letter on her behalf and she reference details not found in the trial record.

Attorney Answers 3


Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Based on your description, I am not clear if you have proof anyone been "feeding" information to your new landlord, or this is your speculation. To the extent you were a party to a lawsuit --whether as a plaintiff or defendant -- anyone can find your name in a court index search. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Frances Miller Campbell

Frances Miller Campbell


This is likely incorrect. Unlawful detainers are confidential for 60 days after filing and most remain confidential under Civil Code section 1161.2, so long as they are dismissed within 60 days or the tenant wins within 60 days. Parties can also stipulate that the case remains confidential--that sounds like what happened here.


Unless court records are sealed, anyone can do some digging into old cases and obtain information. Maybe you should have a heart-to-heart talk with new landlord and keep him or her happy.

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The answer is maybe. You write that "I made sure that the owner couldn't blacklist me to tenant screening sites, credit bureau(s) or any future landlord." Assuming you had such a stipulation, then the landlord's attorney might also be bound by it on an agency theory. The landlord's attorney, as the agent of your former landlord, might be liable for you, therefore, for tortious interference with contract, or some other tort. It is hard to opine further without knowing more about the agreement.

Important things to remember: 1. The fact that I answered a question that you asked me on line, doesn't make me your lawyer. 2. Opinions are like noses--everyone has one. I just happen to think my opinions are right, but check with another lawyer too.

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