Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

My fathers Corporation closed around 8 years ago and he just received a notice to appear in court over back rent of $20,000 that would work out to 4 or 5 months with fee's I'm sure, but they never told him he owed anything when he did the walk thru he paid first and last rent but now that he thinks about it he never received anything back even though he was told everything looked great. He had to close his business and took out a loan on his home to pay his bills and ended up losing his home also he has nothing they live in a very small apartments and pay $850.00 a month for rent My parents own 1 truck 1997 and a Explorer 1992 they now live on Social Security and my dad is 85 years old and mom is 77 my dad needs to be in court on Nov 19th 2013 regarding this rent issue. If you can give us an idea out what he can do I would appreciate it.

Asked on 11/06/13, 9:55 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Roy Hoffman Law Offices of Roy A. Hoffman

In California the statute of limitation on a written contract is generally 4 years from the breach (i.e. the last payment of rent your father made). Assuming it has been more than 4 years since his last contact with the landlord, any lawsuit initiated now would be barred by the applicable statute of limitation.

You should immediately contact an attorney in your area to have whatever documents your father received reviewed to determine exactly what was received. If, prior to the expiration of the statute of limitation a judgment was entered against your father, he may be subopenaed to appear for what is known as a judgment debtor examination.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT DOCUMENT(S) YOUR FATHER RECEIVED to determine what course of action he should take. Failure to do so may result in his losing significant legal rights, or worse, having a bench warrant issued for his failure to appear. Paying a lawyer a small amount to review the documents would be well worth the money.

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Answered on 11/06/13, 10:39 am
Kelvin Green The Law Office of Kelvin Green

The other thing I would add is that there is a difference between an individual and a corporation. Individuals generally are not liable for corporate debt unless there was a personal guarantee. Mr Hoffman gives you solid advice on seeing an attorney and the documents...

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Answered on 11/06/13, 8:46 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

You need to find out more details about the lawsuit. I agree with Mr. Hoffman about the statute of limitations, but this may be a lawsuit that was filed some time ago and the other side is attempting to collect on a judgment. You have said that your father has received a notice to be in court November 19, 2013, but you do not specify what kind of notice this is.

I really urge you to have him consult with an attorney, either on the phone or in person, and have the attorney review the notice to fully explain to the both of you what is going on.

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Answered on 11/07/13, 4:55 am

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