Can I claim lost wages for 1 day that I will have to appear in court as plaintiff to sue my landlord ?

I am suing my landlord in small claims court for my security deposit back. I am not worried about that portion of the case as I have proof to support it. I am currently putting together my claim and in addition the amount of the deposit I wanted to include 8 hours of lost wages for having to appear in court to sue him as well as 3 hours for having to leave work early to file? Can I include lost wages in my claim + my security deposit? How will this look to a judge? Mind you, I make $100/hr so I am upset I have to miss work for this. I am in California.

Ventura, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Real Estate Attorney - San Marino, CA

No. Unfortunately, in virtually all instances, your lost wages from missing work to attend a small claims court trial is not recoverable as damages.

However, if you are able to prove to the court that the landlord acted in "bad faith" in refusing to return your security deposit, the court can order the landlord to pay the tenant the amount of the improperly withheld deposit, plus up to twice the amount of the security deposit as a "bad faith" penalty. (Civil Code Section 1950.5(l).)

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
Marcus William Morales

Marcus William Morales

Family Law Attorney - Santa Barbara, CA

No, lost wages are not allowed in these circumstances. I agree with my colleague if you can prove bad faith you can double damages possibly providing you adequate relief for your lost wages. Good luck with your case.

Marcus W. Morales, Esq.
115 W. Mission St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 845-5405

All content posted on and is for educational purposes only and should not be relied... more
Brandy Ann Peeples

Brandy Ann Peeples

Real Estate Attorney - Frederick, MD

My colleagues are correct. You cannot claim lost wages in connection with your court appearance.

DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more

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Landlord-tenant law

Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state laws, and covers issues like security deposit limits and deadlines, evictions, and the right to withhold rent.

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Tenant rights

Tenant rights vary by state, but in general, you have the right to safe and habitable housing, privacy, and to not be discriminated against, among other things.

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