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  • #16
    Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

    I'm not the poster you responded to, but it sounds like you really don't need an attorney if what you claim here is true and accurate.

    The only trouble is, why would you want to stay in this rental and continue to deal with this landlord by fighting the eviction in court? Even if you win, you will only prevail in not being evicted.

    Fighting for any monetary damages is one thing, if you intend to move out, but to fight the eviction with the intention of staying and renting from this landlord is pointless and strange.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

      I moved here from another city within the last eighteen months and have been unable to find work. I didn't really know people here and have become friends with most of the neighborhood people. It is on beach so it is close community. I don't think I should have to give that up because of someone else's selfish actions.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

        Huh???

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

          Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
          We both did.
          We both did............what?

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

            Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
            OP: 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.
            Reply: I also think it will cause another issue. When you say ask her, hopefully you will do that via mail, as tel. conversations can be denied, twisted, etc. You are right about her not posting the notice being 1300 miles away, no brainer, would you?
            What difference does it matter where she was on a certain day? Or who posted it? You got it.
            I don't believe a eviction complaint needs to be notarized, or any complaint, It is a option the Plaintiff has if he/she wants to do so.

            OP: 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.

            Reply 1 : It sounds to me like you may have a valid defense for retaliatory eviction, based on your Notice To Cure, and that is why she is evicting you...she's pissed...and retaliating. Also depends on the bldg. inspectors report.
            But the question is, are you a tenant at will?
            Or do you have a valid lease that you both signed?
            You said she signed it, but you didn't state or answer the question I asked?....Did you also sign the lease, yes or no? I don't believe you signed the lease, otherwise you would have stated so.
            If NO you are a tenant at will, and she can evict without cause.
            Happened to me, same deal. L.L. wouldn't cure the problems I listed, did the notice thing, answer, claimed retaliatory eviction, failure to maintain premises, paid rent into registry, he hired an atty., complaint, went to court, had to be out on short notice. I was a tenant at will, no lease. I did not have or make a complaint to any gov. agency like you did though, which is in your favor.
            Really sucks when you have no place to go. Especially if the opposing side has an atty. Even Legal Services won't bother getting involved with a L.L./tenant case if you are a tenant at will. You need to be on a valid signed by both parties lease. Otherwise S.O.L.....life sucks sometimes. Live and learn dude.

            OP: 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.

            Reply 2: Again, did you call the Bldg. inspector, before or after your L.L. filed her eviction complaint against you?, and if so, that would be another sign of retaliation by the L.L., for your contacting a governmental agency for assistance in inspecting the premises and getting the repair work done, if needed?

            OP: I know this sounds ridiculous but she will do or say or promise anything to not repair and to get court do believe otherwise.

            Reply 3: So what else is new? Parties do it all the time. That's why you have to gather all your evidence for court.

            OP: 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.]
            Reply 4: Did she file the complaint herself pro se, or is she represented by an atty.?
            Again, you keep saying "you have one signed by her", but you have not once stated in this thread that you also signed the lease? Note the in parenthesis, [it is an original signature]...your words, signifying a one signature deal..hers, not yours.
            So did you sign it?
            Or did she mail it to you signed, but you never signed it and mailed it back to her, because maybe as you stated you couldn't find a job for 18 months and was not sure you could afford the place with no reasonable steady income source?
            A one signature lease does not create a contract between two parties.
            If I am wrong then please state if you signed it, and hopefully certified mail.
            Otherwise she can just deny receiving it, even if she did.
            And claim you are a "tenant at will", and once again, even if you have a good defense, in Florida a L.L. can evict a tenant at will without cause. See [F.S. 83.01]
            When people get angry that's how they react.

            OP: 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?

            Reply 5: First you have to answer the question if you also signed the lease?
            You stated previously that she failed to notarize her complaint, given that, I don't see were you can say she "swore to, or certified" anything, if she didn't notarize it as you stated? I think you are confusing the Certificate of Service, with a verification or notarization, which are two different things. I believe you are referring to her Certificate of Service at the end of the complaint, which is not an oath or notarization.
            You have to prove to the court that there is a valid lease signed by both parties. So far you have not proved that point in this thread, other than the fact that [she] signed it. There is no indication in this thread
            that you did. Therefore, you are considered a "tenant at will", if you have no valid lease. I would at this point if I was a Judge tell you the same thing, unless you can verify that you also signed the lease.

            OP: Why don't you come and represent me. Sounds like you know your law.
            In your answer did you make/plead allegations that the L.L. breached her obligation to maintain the premises?
            I dug up my older case similar to yours and the opposing atty. wrote the following in response to my answer: "Tenants prayer for relief is to be allowed to remain in the premises; therefore, Landlord's termination of the month to month tenancy does not rise to the level of retaliatory conduct pursuant to Fla. Stat. 83.64[1][c] as alleged by tenant." I obviously disagreed with this contention in my pleadings and in court. Sounds like a B.S. excuse to me to justify the L.L. conduct, typical atty./L.L. denial statement.
            So you can better understand why I keep asking you if you signed the lease or not? If not, you are a tenant at will.

            The other poster has a point with the why would you want to remain there given the B.S.? Can you afford to move not having a job for 18 months?

            If I couldn't find a place to move to, I would be arguing that the L.L. failed to maintain the premises as you stated. Broken/cracked windows cause A/C/heat leaks, especially with the recent cold spell and power outages here. Costing you higher utility bills, assuming you pay for utilities? Birds and rodents in the attic, Hmmm?, not a good thing, she should fix that. Unless they are getting into your rental...? Do you have kids? That would be a question for the bldg. inspector to determine the health code problems there. If favorable to you, that's ammunition on your side, get a copy if it is. If it isn't favorable to you and the bldg. inspector doesn't see a problem that makes the rental uninhabitable. I would start looking for a place to live. That's what the judge will most likely in my eyes look at for how to rule on your retaliatory or failure to cure issues.

            I don't want to O.D. you with stuff, but if you have access to a law library or library that has legal research you might want to check the following regarding Retaliatory Conduct: FLJUR LANDLORD S.S. 80, which has a lot of good stuff to consider.

            Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but if you are a tenant at will in Florida or any other state for that matter, you are S.O.L.!!! As soon as a roommate, landlord, etc. decides they don't like you...you are S.O.L.! Similar to a boss who can fire you at will if he/she doesn't like your attitude...see ya! Definitely need to protect yourselves against peoples emotional Hot/Cold mood swings with a lease.

            Good luck dude.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

              I signed lease as well as the landlord. I am not a tenant at will. My answer included a copy of the certified letter sent to LL about property deficiencies. I also have correspondence and a witness to conversations I had with LL about deficiencies dating back to May, 2009. I didn't say I did not get eviction complaint. I said I never got 3-day notice until I was served with eviction summons and a copy of a 3-day notice was inside. There was no copy of the lease attached as required and and LL says in complaint there is not one. There obviously is. I have it with 2 signatures. mine and hers. Both original. The building inspector's report will include far more than what I listed. Building inspector was called after letter to landlord. She had ample time to cure. I can afford to pay rent and that has never been an issue. She filed pro se and it is doubtful she or an attorney will show. I will ask her whereabouts on dates because complaints must be signed in front of deputy clerk or notarized. The signature on 3-day notice must be LL's or attorney's and it is not. I compared to other signatures I have of hers. One on lease and other on letter sent me that was notarized and sent to me. I believe this was notice to quit? She gave me 30 days to move and no opportunity to bring rent current. I received that particular letter 20 days before eviction summons.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                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.
                It appears we have at least 3 posters responding to your thread. Wish I could represent you, but I am not licensed to practice in that state. I'm glad that you have done your homework and followed the state laws. A large number of tenants who have failed to do the above attempt to fight suits. (The outcome is not good for them because they have failed to follow the correct procedure.) This is why I questioned you on these items. You have followed this procedure. That will stand in your favor in court.

                It is true that most states do not require a Pay or Quit notice to be notarized. It is also true that notices can be served by an agent of the LL. I do not understand, however, why the court clerk did not send the LL a notice stating that the rent is in escrow with the court. That is standard procedure with most courts. She should have received this notice. I would ask the clerk if they had notified the LL of the escrowed rent. The actual eviction filing is supposed to be filed by the owner or by an attorney, although in some states a power of attorney can be use to file these suits for an owner. I would ask the clerk of court if a POA can be used to file for the eviction suit in your area. If so, if it was done in your case.

                For other posters, keep in mind that just because a LL lives out of state or is a teacher, does not mean they could not fly in for a day to serve a notice. Remember that school employees are often unionized - they get paid personal and sick days to use. Most schools close for an extended time through the holidays, giving extra days for them to fly in. January was also a snowy month in the northeast this year (closing schools). And that the months of January and February have several 3 day weekends scheduled for most school systems - MLK day weekend, Presidents' Day weekend, in-service days on a Friday, and parent teacher conferences. (Our own school district won't have a full 5 day school week for the whole month of January.) It is possible for a teacher to take several days off to handle business of this sort. And who wouldn't want to fly to the warmth for a weekend if you lived in a snowy area? A mini-vacation sounds good to me about now! Just remember that it is certainly possible for the out of state LL to fly there to serve a notice. Or to attend the hearing. If either party does not attend or is not represented by counsel at hearing, they normally lose by default. But do not be surprised if you arrive only to find the LL has asked for an extension and the hearing date has been moved. I would call the court the day before the hearing to be sure it is still scheduled.

                The court will not address the habitability issues until the hearing. Before that, the court considers it the LL's responsibility to address these concerns. Rent withholding is designed to be a "last chance" for these LL's to take responsibility and make any habitability repairs. Obtain a copy of the building inspector's report for the hearing so you can show the problems. Also have a copy of the rent deposit slip to prove that rent was placed in escrow properly. Bring 3 copies of your lease, for yourself, the court, and your LL. If she signed it, you could sign it at any time. Her signature would be what would bind her to the lease with you. Your signature is what binds you to the lease with her. If she signed it, she is bound by the lease with you, whether or not she has a copy with your signature. It is highly unusual for a LL to sign a lease without the tenant signing first. Your lease has not expired at this time, has it?

                The presence of children or lack of them makes no difference. Habitability codes are not just applicable to premises with children. They apply to everyone. Certain lead paint laws apply only to units with children in them. Absence of children has no bearing.

                Good luck in your hearing. Please post again with an update after the hearing.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                  No, my lease is not over until September, 2010. Notice of rent held by court included on notice of hearing. I said the court did not notify her of habitability issues raised. Thanks for your help. I am trying to avoid getting blindsided at hearing. I will post after hearing.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                    Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                    It appears we have at least 3 posters responding to your thread. Wish I could represent you, but I am not licensed to practice in that state. I'm glad that you have done your homework and followed the state laws. A large number of tenants who have failed to do the above attempt to fight suits. (The outcome is not good for them because they have failed to follow the correct procedure.) This is why I questioned you on these items. You have followed this procedure. That will stand in your favor in court.

                    It is true that most states do not require a Pay or Quit notice to be notarized. It is also true that notices can be served by an agent of the LL. I do not understand, however, why the court clerk did not send the LL a notice stating that the rent is in escrow with the court. That is standard procedure with most courts. She should have received this notice. I would ask the clerk if they had notified the LL of the escrowed rent. The actual eviction filing is supposed to be filed by the owner or by an attorney, although in some states a power of attorney can be use to file these suits for an owner. I would ask the clerk of court if a POA can be used to file for the eviction suit in your area. If so, if it was done in your case.

                    For other posters, keep in mind that just because a LL lives out of state or is a teacher, does not mean they could not fly in for a day to serve a notice. Remember that school employees are often unionized - they get paid personal and sick days to use. Most schools close for an extended time through the holidays, giving extra days for them to fly in. January was also a snowy month in the northeast this year (closing schools). And that the months of January and February have several 3 day weekends scheduled for most school systems - MLK day weekend, Presidents' Day weekend, in-service days on a Friday, and parent teacher conferences. (Our own school district won't have a full 5 day school week for the whole month of January.) It is possible for a teacher to take several days off to handle business of this sort. And who wouldn't want to fly to the warmth for a weekend if you lived in a snowy area? A mini-vacation sounds good to me about now! Just remember that it is certainly possible for the out of state LL to fly there to serve a notice. Or to attend the hearing. If either party does not attend or is not represented by counsel at hearing, they normally lose by default. But do not be surprised if you arrive only to find the LL has asked for an extension and the hearing date has been moved. I would call the court the day before the hearing to be sure it is still scheduled.

                    The court will not address the habitability issues until the hearing. Before that, the court considers it the LL's responsibility to address these concerns. Rent withholding is designed to be a "last chance" for these LL's to take responsibility and make any habitability repairs. Obtain a copy of the building inspector's report for the hearing so you can show the problems. Also have a copy of the rent deposit slip to prove that rent was placed in escrow properly. Bring 3 copies of your lease, for yourself, the court, and your LL. If she signed it, you could sign it at any time. Her signature would be what would bind her to the lease with you. Your signature is what binds you to the lease with her. If she signed it, she is bound by the lease with you, whether or not she has a copy with your signature. It is highly unusual for a LL to sign a lease without the tenant signing first. Your lease has not expired at this time, has it?

                    The presence of children or lack of them makes no difference. Habitability codes are not just applicable to premises with children. They apply to everyone. Certain lead paint laws apply only to units with children in them. Absence of children has no bearing.

                    Good luck in your hearing. Please post again with an update after the hearing.
                    I was referring to the children as thinking the inspector or court might give the situation more teeth if children where present.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                      Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                      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.
                      You will have to file a motion for return of escrowed rent. Registration fee...what are you talking about?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                        Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                        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.

                        Maybe a process server posted it? Or an agent?

                        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?
                        Maybe a process server, deputy, or agent posted the notice and signed it? Can you read the name or signature?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                          In Florida or Duval county Florida specifically, I had to pay $31.50 to the court for holding my rent. How does one file a motion? I can read the signature and it is the plaintiff's name but not her signature. I have a notarized signature from her and they are clearly not the same. It is the same signature as the one on the complaint for eviction. It is both of these signatures I am questioning. I have two other copies of her signature, the lease and a notarized letter to quit. Signatures match here but not to the 2 other notices that I am questioning.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                            How does one file a motion in Florida or can I just ask the judge or make a motion if I am the prevailing party at the hearing?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                              Contact the clerk of court in that area to receive the paperwork you need to file the motion. The fee to rent withhold is not returned. It is the court fee to process and administer the money. Court fees are not refunded. However, if you prevail, you can ask for the LL to pay all court fees (reimburse you).

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Florida-Attorney fees for defendant time

                                Originally posted by notnixx13 View Post
                                In Florida or Duval county Florida specifically, I had to pay $31.50 to the court for holding my rent. How does one file a motion? I can read the signature and it is the plaintiff's name but not her signature. I have a notarized signature from her and they are clearly not the same. It is the same signature as the one on the complaint for eviction. It is both of these signatures I am questioning. I have two other copies of her signature, the lease and a notarized letter to quit. Signatures match here but not to the 2 other notices that I am questioning.
                                The 2 notices, from what you say appear to have been served by a agent of the L.L., that's my guess. Have to find out before court though so you won't be shooting blanks to the judge.

                                I don't know if I am correct in this, but maybe a agent of hers can sign her name as her agent posting the notices?, or thought she could do so? Does the agent of a L.L. that posted the 2 notices have to sign a affidavit that she posted same on a certain date to verify service? Maybe the atty. who posted here can answer that?
                                If you asked the L.L. the question, she most likely won't answer, but you never know, maybe she will. Might be in your interest to ask her via certified letter R.R.R. That way you put her on record one way or the other. Especially if you are going to argue defective notice for whatever.

                                Not sure about the court fee of $31.50, maybe you can get that back as court costs if you win, ask the judge for your costs at your hearing when and if he rules in your favor. I paid $15.00, 4 years ago, talk about inflation?

                                You could ask a court clerk for a copy of a Motion to Disburse Funds From Clerk's Registry or something similar from a closed case. I have asked and done that, and that's not giving legal information. Don't ask the clerk how to.
                                An use that as a guide. I have a copy of a cover letter, motion, and a proposed order for the Judge to sign. But you have to get there first. When and if you do get there, then bring it up again in this same thread so others can follow it. You could also go to the law library in your area for forms. Sometimes you can google what you specifically want and get it.

                                Comment

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