My question involves a security deposit in the State of: CALIFORNIA
I was a tenant in CA, and the landlord failed to return my security deposit within 21 days. I sued in small claims court and received a default judgment (He didnt show up) for the amount of the security deposit ($2,300) + my court costs. The judgment stated $1800 + $500 punitive damages. (I indicated that there was probably $500 worth of repairs necessary when we moved out). I did not ask for punitive damages, although I learned after my case that in CA you can sue for 2x the amount of the deposit ($4,600) for bad faith retention of the deposit.
The landlord (who is an attorney) has subsequently sued me in Superior Court (limited Civil action) claiming breach and contract and negligence and says I own him $4,600+ because I promised to fix issues with the property before moving out - and failed to do so - and so he could not re-rent the property and lost two months rent while he rectified the issues (touch up paint, dirty carpets, etc.) His claims are baseless and malicious.
In filing my answer to his claim - can I file a cross complaint asking for punitive damages for bad faith witholding of the deposit - or does this amount to Collateral Estopel since the issue was already decided in the lower court? Can I also cross complain for malicious prosecution? Anything else I can throw in the cross complaint?