Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

I am a tenant & about to serve Form Interrogatories regarding my Unlawful Detainer case on my landlord, but more importantly, would like to compel their property manager and attorney to answer the same. The reason is that the property manager (who signed the verification to the complaint) and the attorney are the people actively pursuing this action, with what I believe to be little or no communication to the owners.

So my question is;

Is it proper to name the property management and/ or the attorney as the answering party?

And if so, is there a special way that their name must be listed; for example; Joe Smith, who is the president of Property Management, Inc., is the acting property manager. Would I just write "Joe Smith", or "Joe Smith, president Property Management, Inc", or "Joe Smith as agent for Landlord, Ltd"?

And same question with regards to the attorney.

Thanks for your assistance!

Asked on 6/28/10, 12:43 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

George Shers Law Offices of Georges H. Shers

Discovery requests are limited to the parties named in the suit, so you can only direct your requests to the landlord in whom name the suit is filed. The attorney, moreover, would be able to claim attorney work product and attorney-client privilege to avoid having to answer any questions.

You may be wrong as to the landlord; he is paying the cost of filing suit, etc., so must agree to going after you to some extent.

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Answered on 6/28/10, 7:18 am

Mr. Shers is correct, particularly about the attorney's privileges. However, the discovery laws require the answering party to make diligent search and reasonable inquiry of their agents and employees before providing responses, and must respond with all information in their posession, custody or control. So if they respond properly, you will get the manager's information, and anything from the attorney that is not privileged.

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Answered on 6/28/10, 9:12 am

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