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  • Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

    Florida

    I am not an attorney however I have spent in excess of 20 hours at the very least researching Florida law as it relates to my situation. I don't think there is any question I will get an immediate dismissal due to a defective notice. The only award will be costs and attorney fees.

    Can I charge for my time and claim it as costs or reasonable attorney fees? I have done a thorough job of gathering the facts and relevant law to get a dismissal.

    Nick

  • #2
    Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

    As to the demand for costs, you can include all the expenses incurred by you during the case. In case of your personal research, you can claim for expenses incurred for it. Florida Civil Practice and Procedure Code Section 57.111(3)(a) deals with court costs. In this it is provided that costs incurred for preparations can be demanded. Hence, you can demand all your expenses incurred and in case you can show your time as a cost then you can ask for its compensation. Court will decide having regard to all facts of the case.

    AFF

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

      When in court for hearing, if I am able to have the eviction dismissed for a defective 3-day notice what else has to be done before the court will release my escrowed rent? How long should this take? Do they return the registration fee? Just kidding on that question.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

        Let's backtrack a minute.

        First, AFFA is wrong, You cannot claim expenses for your time to research your own case! You are not a licensed attorney and are not permitted to request money or bill for legal work. Whatever time you spent researching is your own problem. That is your responsibility if you want to act as your own attorney. Had you actually hired an attorney, you could ask for his expenses to be covered by the losing party. But you can't get paid for your own time.

        Second, I commend you for taking the time to do research. What is the issue with the 3 day notice? How is it defective? That would determine if the rent in escrow would be released to you immediately, or held for the 3 day to be refiled.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

          The 3-day notice was given to me with my eviction summons on 12/11/2009. Even though the removal of tenant notice stated it was posted on the fourth of December and because of a weekend the 3 day period had not passed until the 9th. I still did not receive it until the 11th.

          The landlord did not sign the notice. There is a signature but it is not hers. I have a notarized letter from her and it is obviously not her signature on the notice I received.

          Furthermore, the amount due is incorrect if I have read the law right. She states December rent is due and owing but on the lease it specifically states that rent mailed is not due until the 5th of the month. This is not called a grace period. She lives in New York and I am in Florida. My rent is mailed if it is sent. Using that reasoning my rent was not due until the 6th of December therefore the note was defective even if delivered.

          The real reason for all the problems is I gave LL notice that I had health and safety issues because the landlord refuses to take responsibility for maintenance and continues to lie about same. I got fed up and sent her a notice to cure. She has not even acknowledged there is a problem. It will probably be simple that this is retaliatory eviction. Are there damages available if that is the case?

          There is a "survivors trust" that legally owns the property. She may own the trust but I have been unable to find a registration in Florida. However, she filed the eviction with herself as the only party to the eviction and the same with the removal of tenant notice. She doesn't do anything in the name of the trust or as owner of same. I contend she doesn't own the property which makes notice defective.

          Is that defective enough?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

            Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
            Florida

            I am not an attorney however I have spent in excess of 20 hours at the very least researching Florida law as it relates to my situation. I don't think there is any question I will get an immediate dismissal due to a defective notice. The only award will be costs and attorney fees.

            Can I charge for my time and claim it as costs or reasonable attorney fees? I have done a thorough job of gathering the facts and relevant law to get a dismissal.

            Nick
            You cannot charge for your fees, as you are not an attorney. It is ridiculous to even assume you can. The amount of research you did on your own behalf is just that. The only way you can be awarded attorney fees is if you were an actual attorney. You are not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

              In most states, the 3 day pay or quit notice can be deemed served if posted to the front door of the residence. If she has proof that she posted it that way, you were properly served, even if you didn't see it, pick up the notice, or get it until the court papers arrived. Some states also allow notice to be served by certified mail. If you refuse delivery or fail to pick that up, it is also deemed served. You need to find out how the notice was served. Question this in court.

              If the notice is dated for the 4th, you need to look at your lease. Does it state the rent is due on the 1st but no late fees until the 5th? Does it say rent doesn't have to be received until the 5th if by mail only (in which case it is due previous to this - that is only a grace period for postal time only). You need to look carefully at your lease. If it says rent is due on the 1st, even if it says up to the 5th for postal delivery, it was proper to include December's rent on the notice. The rent would be due before the notice expired either way.

              The signature is another matter. How do you know it is not hers? The LL could have hurt her arm, sprained her wrist, etc. The signature could be hers but appear different. If she testifies that it is hers, you have little to go on here.

              As you were told in another post, if she owns the trust or is the trustee of that trust, she can evict.

              The bigger question is, why haven't you paid rent?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                She did not post notice herself as she was in New York and I am in Florida. If she didn't post notice as she claims wouldn't the person that claims they did have to be in court in order to testify that the notice was in fact posted? Wouldn't there be a burden of proof on her as soon as the issue is raised as was raised in my answer to the court?

                The real reason for all the problems is I gave LL notice that I had health and safety issues. I got fed up and sent her a notice to cure. She has not even acknowledged there is a problem. It will probably be simple to prove that this is retaliatory eviction. Are there damages available if that is the case?

                I have 5 windows that contain broken glass panes and they allow passage of air when closed because they are rotten. I have a bird and rodent problem in attic that she has been aware of since May of 2009. She has kept saying that she will fix but continues not to do so. The building department has been called and are doing a full inspection to back up there preliminary that noted these conditions.

                Amazingly, she certified in her complaint for eviction that we have no written lease even though I have one signed by her, and it is an original signature.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                  Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                  Florida

                  I am not an attorney however I have spent in excess of 20 hours at the very least researching Florida law as it relates to my situation. I don't think there is any question I will get an immediate dismissal due to a defective notice. The only award will be costs and attorney fees.
                  Reply: Not for atty. fees.

                  Can I charge for my time and claim it as costs or reasonable attorney fees?
                  Reply: NO

                  I have done a thorough job of gathering the facts and relevant law to get a dismissal.
                  Reply: Why are you here?

                  Nick
                  Hayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                    Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                    She did not post notice herself as she was in New York and I am in Florida.
                    Reply: So she used an agent here in Fl.

                    If she didn't post notice as she claims wouldn't the person that claims they did have to be in court in order to testify that the notice was in fact posted?
                    Reply: Are you claiming you did not get it?
                    She is saying she did not personally serve it, but had her agent serve it.

                    Wouldn't there be a burden of proof on her as soon as the issue is raised as was raised in my answer to the court?
                    Reply: How long after you got the eviction complaint did you file your answer? Within 5 days?

                    The real reason for all the problems is I gave LL notice that I had health and safety issues. I got fed up and sent her a notice to cure. She has not even acknowledged there is a problem. It will probably be simple to prove that this is retaliatory eviction. Are there damages available if that is the case?
                    Reply: Might want to google Fla. Stat. 83.64, which covers retaliatory evictions.
                    How long after you gave her the notice to cure, did she file for & serve you with the eviction papers?

                    I have 5 windows that contain broken glass panes and they allow passage of air when closed because they are rotten. I have a bird and rodent problem in attic that she has been aware of since May of 2009. She has kept saying that she will fix but continues not to do so. The building department has been called and are doing a full inspection to back up there preliminary that noted these conditions.
                    Reply: Did you call the Bldg. Dept. before or after you sent the L.L. your Notice To Cure?
                    Did you tell/notify the L.L. of your intent to call the Bldg. Dept. if she did not cure the problems?
                    It is considered retaliatory to evict or threaten to evict because a tenant complains to a governmental agency for discrepancies in your rental. You should read/research the whole chapter 83 Fla. Stat.

                    Amazingly, she certified in her complaint for eviction that we have no written lease even though I have one signed by her, and it is an original signature.
                    Reply: Did you sign the lease?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                      Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                      She did not post notice herself as she was in New York and I am in Florida. If she didn't post notice as she claims wouldn't the person that claims they did have to be in court in order to testify that the notice was in fact posted? Wouldn't there be a burden of proof on her as soon as the issue is raised as was raised in my answer to the court?

                      The real reason for all the problems is I gave LL notice that I had health and safety issues. I got fed up and sent her a notice to cure. She has not even acknowledged there is a problem. It will probably be simple to prove that this is retaliatory eviction. Are there damages available if that is the case?

                      I have 5 windows that contain broken glass panes and they allow passage of air when closed because they are rotten. I have a bird and rodent problem in attic that she has been aware of since May of 2009. She has kept saying that she will fix but continues not to do so. The building department has been called and are doing a full inspection to back up there preliminary that noted these conditions.

                      Amazingly, she certified in her complaint for eviction that we have no written lease even though I have one signed by her, and it is an original signature.
                      You need to read Fla. Stat. 83.64. What county are you in?
                      Send my stipend fee to Haiti...Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                        We both did.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                          Duval County

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                            An agent can serve notice for her. Yes, the agent needs to come to court to testify that notice was served. Do you know that she was not in the state on that day to serve it herself?

                            A pay or quit notice does not arise from complaints over repairs. In your state, a quit notice for other issues would not have been a 3 day notice. Thus, the complaint must be because you didn't pay rent. If you were rent withholding for failure to do repairs, and the repairs were habitability issues, you needed to deposit rent on the day due with the clerk o court or in their special account for this. Rent withholding does not mean you just don't pay rent. Did you do so? If you had, the clerk would have notified the LL that she was unable to evict over non-payment and you would have the receipt to show that rent was paid, but to the court instead of the LL.

                            I also have to ask that you answer the other poster's question. Had you notified the LL in writing of the problems? Sent it certified mail and requested a return receipt since the LL is out of state? (Thus you have proof that she was notified of the needed repairs before a building inspector was called.) You need to have proof that she was informed of the problems. Verbal or e-mail notices are worthless, unless you go through all the trouble to document them. If you did not send notice to repair in writing the LL will claim no knowledge of the needed repairs. The first she knew of it was when contacted by the building inspector. She then has a reasonable amount of time to repair BEFORE you may rent withhold. All repair notices should always be sent this way for just this reason.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                              Par 1. She lives in NY and is a teacher and would not have taken off work to post notice 1300 miles away. I will ask her where she was on that day. It will lead to another issue. Her eviction complaint is not notarized and she would have had to be in Jacksonville on the 11th to sign that as well.

                              Par 2. You are correct the complaint arose over non-payment. I did place correct amount of rent money as stated in 3-day notice with the court on day ordered to do so. Before anything happened I sent withhold letter certified to LL as you suggest and as required by court, but the court did not address the habitability issues.

                              Par.3 As stated above, I did send certified letter far before I called building inspector. I sent letter in October and called building inspector who came the week of January 18th.

                              I know this sounds ridiculous but she will do or say or promise anything to not repair and to get court do believe otherwise. Like I said, she certified in her complaint for eviction that we have no written lease even though I have one signed by her, and it is an original signature. What do you think the court's stance will be when it is proven there is a lease and she swore to the court there wasn't?

                              Why don't you come and represent me. Sounds like you know your law.

                              Comment

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