My landlord sent me eviction paperwork stating I failed to pay for the month of march. He is suing for $775. 1. my lease shows the rent is $675, 2. I have receipts showing the rent was in fact paid. I filed a motion and took my proof to court. I was ordered to show up in court on a specified day and the letter I received from the judge also stated that I have to deposit $1350 in the court's account before the court date. Why am I paying when my landlord has lied in order to evict me, and I have the proof to show. I was also told that the eviction would remain on record although I am able to prove my innocence. What's the point in going to court when I have to pay more than the landlord is suing for and the eviction will stick no matter what. I don't get it.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
If the amount of rent is incorrect, I believe that the summons addresses this issue. Re-read the summons in its entirety.
You should be able to deposit the rent that you think is due and simultaneously ask for a hearing on rent due. If you are unsure about the summons or the lawsuit, it would be wise to hire an attorney for representation.
All lawsuits are part of the public record, so yes, anyone can sue anyone else for anything. If it is a lawsuit without merit or contains false facts, that will be reflected in the case being dismissed, costs and fees being assessed against one party in favor of the other, and the like.
Simply because your landlord says something does not mean that the court will automatically believe it. You have the opportunity to contest his allegations by filing an answer within five days setting forth why you should not be evicted, and to contest the amount owed by filing a motion within the same five days saying that you disagree with the amount alleged. As Ms. Graham said, you should deposit with the court registry any amount that you do agree you owe. Depending on the wording of your contract, late fees and/or utilities may be part of your rent, which could account for the difference.
If in doubt, deposit enough to cover any possible arrearage, as you will get it back if you win.
My response to this question does not mean I agree to represent you in any proceedings. This information is also not subject to attorney-client privilege.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
You should file a motion it is called a "motion for rent determination". The law says you have to either put the money in the court registry or make this motion SUPPORTED BY DOCUMENTATION! If you have the lease and the receipts as proof of payment you attach them to the motion and ask for a court date as soon as possible. You should also ANSWER the complaint and say "I paid, see attached". You have to do this within 5 business days (weekends and holidays excluded) from the date you were served with the eviction papers. Here is the statute:
(2) In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit, if the tenant interposes any defense other than payment, the tenant shall pay into the registry of the court the accrued rent as alleged in the complaint or as determined by the court and the rent which accrues during the pendency of the proceeding, when due. The clerk shall notify the tenant of such requirement in the summons. Failure of the tenant to pay the rent into the registry of the court or to file a motion to determine the amount of rent to be paid into the registry within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the date of service of process constitutes an absolute waiver of the tenant’s defenses other than payment, and the landlord is entitled to an immediate default judgment for removal of the tenant with a writ of possession to issue without further notice or hearing thereon. In the event a motion to determine rent is filed, documentation in support of the allegation that the rent as alleged in the complaint is in error is required. Public housing tenants or tenants receiving rent subsidies shall be required to deposit only that portion of the full rent for which the tenant is responsible pursuant to federal, state, or local program in which they are participating.
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