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Do I have good cause to sue for retaliatory eviction and compel ex-boyfriend to honor oral agmnt for add'l time to find a job?

Palm Springs, CA |

Boyfriend owns our home. He was convicted in Feb'12 of battering me and a "No Neg Contact" restraining order issued. On Dec 2, I called the police to report a harassment violation. He was arrested. He returned Dec 20, 2012; I had to call again. Later that day, he initiated a 30/60 day eviction notice. (He previously told me many times I would be evicted if I called the police.) I didn't pay rent every month, but worked>1000 unpaid hours renovating during the 1st year. So, we had an oral agrmnt as of Nov 30 to forgive back rent if I moved in 60 days-or later if couldn't find a job. NOTE: He is living with mother until I move out. Monetary damages for retaliatory eviction? emotional distress? how much? Poss to win UD and stay for an add'l, reasonable period (30-45 days) if no job?

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Attorney answers 3


You have a very unfortunate situation. However, the facts don't support a claim for "retaliatory eviction". For an explanation of what retaliatory eviction is under California law, see the guide at pages 79-81:

If you have not paid rent, it is very difficult to successfully defend an unlawful detainer lawsuit based upon non-payment of rent.

If the basis for an unlawful detainer is service of a 30 or 60 day notice, it is also very difficult to defend an unlawful detainer case (except for procedural defects in the service of the notice). In most instances (except in rent control jurisdictions), a 30/60 day notice does not require any explanation.

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 posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


I think it's clearly retaliatory and there are statutes that specifically protect against domestic violence based eviction.

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!


This is a tough question and depends upon interpretations of local law. You really need to consult a local attorney.

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