My question involves small claims court in the state of: CA
I am a plaintiff who was awarded the full amount that I asked for in my Small Claims trial earlier this year. I have a few questions regarding how to proceed.
A little about my case: Defendant was Landlord that defaulted and went into Foreclosure on the property I was renting. The Defendant had been in default 3 months prior to renting the property out to me. A month after I moved in, I received notification that the Bank now owns the property and delivered a notification to vacate the premises. I don’t believe I was covered under the Tenant Foreclosure Act due to the property already being in default prior to lease agreement.
I took a cash-for-keys deal and requested deposit back from original Landlord. First I requested via email and got denied. Second request was a certified letter in which I received no response. I then filed a small claims, in which the Defendant responded with a counter-suit for not notify him of my decision and therefore losing his appliances. The amount in the small claims was for only the amounts I paid to Landlord, which included deposit, rent, application fee, etc. I did not include moving fees, time spent/lost, difference in current rent, etc. The lease had a clause if the Landlord was unable to provide the property for the term of the lease, then I had the right to have all my money returned from the Landlord.
The judge ruled in my favor. The landlord now has appealed the case via trial de novo.
Now I have a few questions about the trial de novo that I would appreciate any help on.
1) Is trial de novo the normal process for small claims appeals? Does this type of appeal hurt me?
2) Can I add any additional costs/fees to this appeal that I did not include in the original case?
3) Any advice or points I should focus on? I know Defendant is trying to throw to say I had a choice of staying due to the Tenant Foreclosure Act and add my cash-for-keys deal as a security deposit return, in which no language was stated of that in agreement with Bank.
4) What happens after trial de novo and judge rules in my favor again? Does Landlord have to pay immediately?
5) The Defendant appealed the case, in which the trial de novo isn't until 6 months later. Why is that? Can I make sooner?