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  1. #21

    Default Re: Eviction Procedures in Washington, Snohomish County

    Update: I dropped off the letter at his 'office' (executive offices, solo type) and he signed for it; I took it to the Clerk and filed it with a cover, to get it in the file. (no working papers function for the high-volume evictions court) That day he called me saying that the Show Cause hearing should be canceled, because they're out of the house and I know they're out. I politely declined. (I'm sure he was recording -- they will use anything to try and cast doubt on me, but they have nothing) I suspected the case would be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, but I didn't say anything to him.

    So he told me that I should talk to an attorney. I didn't tell him that I'd already spoken with two and got conflicting answers, apparently because of the complexity of Washington law for unlawful detainer. He said that if I go forward with the Show Cause, that he will ask that I pay his attorney fees. I told him that I know he doesn't want to go to court, and that it is important that he should do what he thinks he has to do. I think this is his first eviction case, and he's one of these attorneys who tries to avoid trials at all costs.

    He again tried to settle, offering me $250 and waiver of the deposit if I drop both cases. I told him that's a non-starter. Just because they had skipped out, doesn't mean that they no longer owe the money. I've just paid a $113 water bill they'd left too. So he told me that if I move forward, that the tenants may sue me for discrimination under the ADA about my trying to get their large pit bull out --
    I laughed out loud. I'm afraid he was hurt by this, from his tone after that.

    He complained about my filings, that rather than file a new case for the damages in District, that I should have converted the unlawful detainer to a civil suit. And that I shouldn't have filed a Show Cause in the District case, I should have just let it proceed as a civil case. I told him that that is the way I decided to do it, and that he must understand, if I don't take his word for things. The phone call was mostly about him waving his arms all around in the air, which was amusing.

    Fast-forward to yesterday at the hearing. The judge swiftly dismissed the unlawful detainer case, for no subject matter. Their lawyer then asked the judge to order that I pay his attorney fees, as he'd promised, to which the judge looked at him sardonically and asked how she could order that with no subject matter jurisdiction? He stammered and spluttered and had no answer, so request denied. I thanked the judge and left straightaway.

    Week-after-next is when the District Court case comes up. I'm sure he will make more attempts to settle, but I am just going to have to have the rent they owe and the cost of the damages they caused. I can bend on late fees and overdraft, but I think he now knows he's dealing with an experienced hard-ass. They will still owe more than $6k if I waive all fees.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Eviction Procedures in Washington, Snohomish County

    Well now their lawyer has filed a counter-claim against me for "Discrimination under the ADA". I haven't read it, but presume it's about her supposed "service dog", a large Pit Bull for which she never provided documentation.

    This has the look of a frivolous lawsuit, and their attorney should have known better. I'll have to research the law in this area.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Show Cause hearing for the money claim in District Court. Before the hearing their lawyer served me with a filing that he will ask for me to pay his attorney fees for this. In fact he asked for fees for this and the prior Superior Court hearing, but I hardly read it. I wasn't worried.

    I'd gotten conflicting advice about whether to do a show cause for the money claim, and the judge made it clear that No. I told him that I hadn't received any schedule from the clerk, which indicated that I have to move things forward with a show cause, but it turns out I am supposed to note for a hearing date of the trial. Judge denied my motion to show cause, and deferred their lawyer's request for atty fees as I expected.

    Also today I answered their counterclaim. It's amazingly weak, and there is absolutely no evidence for anything they say since it's fabricated, so in my answer I moved that the counterclaim be found frivolous under RCW 7.70.160 and that their attorney be sanctioned under RCW 4.84.185 since he knew or should have known that there is no supporting evidence for their counterclaim. I imagine he's pretty shocked that I did that, but he deserves it.

    Trial next month. Wish I'd known about the proper procedure sooner...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hm, seems like I'm just talking to myself lately...

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Eviction Procedures in Washington, Snohomish County

    Did you have a question? I didn't see one, so maybe you could clarify?

  4. #24

    Default Re: Eviction Procedures in Washington, Snohomish County

    Well yesterday was finally the District Court hearing for the money judgment. They didn't even show up, so I won by default a judgment of 6,800. I am really surprised they didn't show up, and the judge was too, given that they'd hired an attorney. I was prepared for a fight.

    So my theory is this:

    They had filed a counterclaim to my suit claiming that I got "unjust enrichment" from the washing machine they'd bought to replace the one they never gave me a chance to fix. (I've since fixed it and sold it for $185) They also claimed that I'd discriminated against them under the ADA for trying to make them get rid of their Pit Bull "service dog".

    In my answer to their counterclaim I reminded the Court that specifically according to the lease they are responsible for the washing machine, including that they must replace it if it breaks. Also that the ADA is a federal law so this court has no jurisdiction... which their lawyer knew or should have known.

    And that:
    Plaintiff objects to Defendants' Counterclaim as frivolous, under RCW 7.70.160, Washington's frivolous litigation statute, and counsel for Defendants knew or should have known that there is no evidence to support such claims.

    Further, Plaintiff notes that the Counterclaim relies on federal law, but was brought in a Court of Washington State. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants' Counterclaim is retaliatory in nature and was intended to intimidate Plaintiff from recovering his rightful rent and costs. Plaintiff requests that Defendants' Counterclaim be dismissed, with prejudice.

    Plaintiff further moves that sanctions be levied under RCW 4.84.185, on counsel for Defendants ****** *. *******, in the amount of $600 to compensate for Plaintiff's costs in researching and responding to the Counterclaim.
    Upon receipt of this response, I imagine their attorney pressed them for proof and when he discovered there isn't any, withdrew from the case rather than facing sanctions, lol. And defendants just decided to not show up.

    Remember, when I'd filed the Show Cause in this District Court money judgment matter, it wasn't the right way to go about it at this stage but I'd gotten conflicting advice. At the Show Cause hearing their attorney told the judge that this was unneccessary and a waste of everyone's time (he's kind of a hot-head), and he asked the judge for $721 in attorney fees. The judge pointed out that more than half of those are for the Superior Court hearing and he acknowledged. But because I'd pointed out the complexity and confusion in Washington law for evictions, the judge deferred consideration of attorney fees to today's hearing. I was confident there wouldn't be any.

    So that attorney was hoist by his own petard, and he took his clients with him...

    Now I wait the 30 day appeals period, and then file the judgment of-record. Then it'll be a Demand Letter, and probably garnishment proceedings. I've copied much of the Practice Guide on collections from the law library now.

    The defendant has a good job and makes plenty of money, and they have several cars and a boat. I'm confident that I'll collect, even if they declare bankruptcy.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Eviction Procedures in Washington, Snohomish County

    Just FYI - litigating Federal law is not limited to federal courts.

    Be careful if they appeal. You might shoot yourself in both feet.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  6. #26

    Default Re: Eviction Procedures in Washington, Snohomish County

    You don't seem to understand what happened here Dogmatique.

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