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Affirmative defenses to false claim of emotional distress.

San Diego, CA |

I’m suing my last landlord in superior court. The landlord filed a cross-complaint including a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. After I reported serious habitability defects to the landlord he failed to fix them and instead tried to blame me, falsely claiming destruction of property. However, I can prove I could not have caused the defects, including porpous walls with no weatherproofing and a faulty foundation through which ground water would seep into the apartment. I then complained to the county health dept. The health dept ordered repairs made but the landlord did nothing but retaliate and evict me. The landlord now claims that because of my alleged “destruction of property” and “fraudulent” complaints to the county health dept. he is entitled to damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is false and in fact was due to my exercise of my legal rights as tenant. I have the photos of the defects and the county health dept report. Based on the above, what might be some obvious affirmative defenses to such a false claim?

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Attorney answers 1


Affirmative defenses are legal defenses not factual defenses. What you state above are factual defenses which don't need to be raised in the pleadings. I know my advice will appear obvious, but you will do much better if you have an attorney to consult from time to time on an hourly basis (called "unbundled services") if you cannot have one to represent you on all matters. There are some great Avvo attorneys in San Diego who may agree to give advice or review pleadings on an "as needed" basis. Avvo is not an adequate substitute.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.



Sorry for the confusion. I am aware of the difference between legal and factual defense. I was just giving some background as to the ultimate determination that the claim. My question here is specifically the LEGAL affirmative defense at the pleading stage. I mean, some affirmative defenses come to mind here, for example "engaging in legally protected activity" as a defense to the allegation that my report to the health dept caused emotional distress.

Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland


Without reading hte pleading and interviewing you I cannot give you specific affiirmative defenses. Further, Avvo is for analysis and guidance by attorneys, not legal advice. Good luck.

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