Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in South Carolina

I NEED TO APPEAL A SMALL CLAIMS COURT JUDGMENT. I PREVAILED BUT THE JUDGE DID'T AWARD ME THE AMOUNT SHE SHOULD HAVE BASED ON THE S.C. RESIDENTIAL LANLORD TENANT ACT WHICH SAYS THAT THE TENANT MAY RECEIVE 3 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE RENT WITHHELD IF THE NON COMPLIANCE WAS "WILFUL" THE SCRLTA STATES THAT IF SHE DOEN'T RETURN IT WITHIN 30 DAYS I AM ENTITLED TO 3 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE RENT "IF THE NON COMPLIANCE WAS WILFUL." SHE NEVER RETURNED IT--EVEN THOUGH IT HAD BEEN 4 MONTHS AND SHE ACKNOWLEDGE IN COURT THAT THE ONLY REASON SHE DIDN'T RETURN IT WAS BECAUES SHE TRIED TO MAKE ME SIGN A PERSONAL RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND I WOULDN'T. THE JUDGE RULED THAT SINCE I WASN'T PERSUASIVENESS ENOUGH TO CONVINCE HER THAT SHE SHOULD RETURN IT TO ME, IT WASN'T "WILFUL'. GO FIGURE--ALL THAT TIME I THOUGHT HER OBLIGATION TO RENTURN IT TO ME RESTED ON THE SCRLTA! SHE ONLY ME THAWARDED ME ONE MONTHS RENT BACK WHICH I HAD PAID TO HER ALREADY WHEN WE DISCOVERED THAT THE HOUSE HAD AS SEVERE MOLD PROBLEM AND WAS UNINHABITAL AND WAS ASKED BY THE LANDLORD TO GET OUT ASAP SO SHE COULD PROCEDE WITH TREATING THE TERMITES AND MOLD REMOVAL.

THIS IS ABOUT GREED AND CONTROL AND AN ATTEMPT AT COERCION TO MAKE ME SIGN THE RELEASE OR ELSE SHE WOULDNT GIVE ME MY RENT BACK. I WOULDN'T SIGN AND SHE DIDN'T GIVE ME BACK THE RENT. I HAD TO SELL EVERYTHING I OWNED--ALL OF MY PRECIOUS VALUABLES IN ORDER TO TRY TO COME UP WITH THE MONEY TO PAY FOR ANOTHER MONTHS RENT AND DEPOSIT AND UTILITY TRANSFERS TO ANOTHER HOME. SHE IS ALSO A LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT AND BROKE THE LAW BY HER FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THE LEASE WHICH ALSO SAID THAT SHE HAD TO RETURN IT TO ME IMMEDIATELY.

I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO TAKE THIS CASE, REEQUEST A CHANGE OF VENUE TO A JURY TRIAL,

UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT THE SAME JUDGE WHO HEARD YOU CASE WILL ALSO HEAR YOUR MOTION FOR AN APPEAL. CAN I ASK HER TO STEP DOWN AND APPOINT ANOTHER JUDGE TO HEAR MY MOTION FOR APPEAL?

IF SHE SAYS NO, CAN I ASK FOR A CHANGE OF VENUES? IF SHE SAYS NO AND GRANTS MY MOTION TO HEAR THE CASE, CAN I THEN ASK HER TO STEP DOWN AND GIVE ME ANOTHER JUDGE AND CHANGE OF VENUES.

******VERY IMPORTANT**************** THE SCRLTA ALSO SAYS THAT IF HER NONCOMPLIANCE WAS WILFUL, SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REASONABLE ATTORNEYS FEES.

THERE IS NO JURY IN THIS COUNTRY THAT I CAN'T CONVINCE THAT IT WASNT WILFUL ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY REALIZE THAT THEY LIVE IN A 700,000 HOUSE AND DRIVE A BMW AND LEFT ME IN A HOUSE THAT BY ALL STANDARDS WAS A HEALTH HAZARD. WE HAD A CERTIFIED MOLD REMIDIATOR GIVE HER IN PERSON AND IN WRITING HIS FINDINGS THAT THAT HOUSE ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED PROFESSIONAL "MOLD REMEDIATION" RATHER THAN "WANTON DEMOLITION". SHE BROKE THE LAW BY PROCEEDING WITH A CONTRACT WHO DID "WANTON DEMOLITON."

SHE IS GUILTY OF BREKING THE SC REAL ESTATE COMMISSION LAW AND COULD LOSE HER LICENSE.

IF WE TOOK THIS TO COURT, WE COULD GET THE 3 TIMES THE RENT, AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES UP TO ??????YOU TELL ME--$10,000 AND ATTORNYES FEES.

PLEASE HELP ME --I THROW MYSELF ON YOUR MERCY.

JO ANN SMITH 843-822-0099

smith_joann1@yahoo.com

Asked on 9/27/10, 12:55 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Jackson Law Office of John A. Jackson, P.C.
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0 attorneys agreed

Judges have the discretion to award the amount in damages that they feel is appropriate. Since the judge based his or her opinion on the facts of the case, that you did not provide sufficient evidence to convince him or her that the landlords actions were willful then you have little chance of being successful at an appeal.

As for taking this matter to circuit court you may have exhausted your options at the Small Claims Court level. However, this would depend on what you argued in Small Claims Court.

Good luck.

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10/08/10, 6:41 am

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