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Can I get the case dismissed if I didn't show up to landlord tenant small claims deposit lawsuit for bad faith?

San Diego, CA |

My wife and I sued the Landlord in small claims 2 weeks ago and lost. Both our names were on the suit. My wife showed up, but not me, and she signed a court form giving her permission to appear for me (not sure what this form was).

We lost the case against getting our deposit back. Landlord did not counter-sue at that time. But probably will later.

Since I did not appear can I get this case canceled and refiled against the landlord at least on my behalf.

HELP, what can I do?

NOTE: The form given to her on that day was the "SC-109 Authorization To Appear" The form was one provided by the court on the day of the trial because she did not appear. My wife checked the box stating that Spouse has permission to appear in court for case".

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

While it is not at all clear what "form" your wife signed (which could make a significant difference in your options), the general rule is that a plaintiff who lost a small claims court case because the plaintiff failed to appear for the trial can make a motion to vacate (cancel) the judgment. Use the following form:

http://courts.ca.gov/documents/sc135.pdf

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.

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Asker

Posted

SC-109 Authorization To Appear

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Posted

That is a form used when an individual is designated to appear on behalf of an organization, not another party.

Asker

Posted

On the form down at the bottom has a checkbox for Spouses. That was checked and signed by my wife in court since I did not show up. They gave her the form. She signed it. Is there anyway to have this judgement vacated for me only and have it heard again?

Asker

Posted

It looks like based on the other attorney answers I am NOT able to appeal if my spouse signed for me and showed up on my behalf.

Posted

you're done. plaintiff has no right to appeal. you consented for your wife to appear for you

Responses to Avvo questions are based on a general discussion of the law and in no way constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created, and you should not take or fail to take actions based on my answers. Consult an attorney in your area. Time is often of the essence. Act quickly!

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Asker

Posted

She signed it, not me. Isn't there anything I can do to get this judgement vacated for my name and fight this again?

Richard C Koman

Richard C Koman

Posted

I doubt it. you could try

Posted

Unfortunately, your wife is able to, and did, appear on your behalf in the small claims case. That means that you did not "not appear" and therefore you have no basis at all on which to appeal. Your wife appeared for you both and you both lost. Your claim against the landlord is lost and cannot be appealed or re-filed in any venue (small claims or civil).

When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose.

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