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  1. #1
    keiter Guest

    Unhappy illegal lockout?

    What is the name of your state? CA
    My ex-wife and I had moved into a rental in which the landlord spoke little english, and did not know her rights and responsibilities. She came to the door on the second month of our living in the house and told me the check my wife had given her was no good. I just had my ex served restraining orders, and was not available to verify the check had bounced. She had her own account, and I had no way of finding out if it had bounced. The landlord never showed me the check, and demanded cash. I told her she would have to get me the check if she wanted me to pay her cash. After a week or so of hassles, she locked me out of the house without legal process, and kept all of my possessions. I called the sheriff, and since I was having troubles with my ex, the sheriff took the word of the landlord and did not file a report, or allow me to get my things out. I tried to contact the landlord several times to no avail. What should I do? Is there anyone out there who wants to help my children and I get our entire lifes possessions back from a crooked landlord? I had complete mechanics tools worth over $40,000, a complete home of furnishings, thousands of dollars in software and computer hardware. Not to mention that the children and I were locked out of our home in January, and no where to go.

  2. #2
    ttocher Guest
    You can downlord landlord and Tenants handbook directly from the Department of Consumer Affairs. the website address is [url]http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/index.html[/url]
    and click on california tenants - a guide to residential tenants and landlord rights. This website will give you a complete manual on your rights. good luck to you and your children. I'm so sorry and wish you and your kids the best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Law schools usually have legal clinics that can help you. Free Legal Aid is available if you are low income.

    Call one of the agencies below first then check the other options above. Hire an attorney if all else fails. Call the California State Bar and see if they have a Modest-Means Lawyer Referral program if you are above the requirements for free legal aid.

    Legal aid agencies in California:


  4. #4
    gooberitiz Guest
    kinda late huh? got locked out in January?

    What is there only ONE sherriff in your town? Did you go to the police station and demand to pfile a report? did you call any lawyers to help you? did you call the newspapers to help you?

    If you REALLY had $40,000 worth of stuff wouldnt you have renters insurance on it?

    Come on what really happened?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Somnambulist University
    "After a week or so of hassles, she locked me out of the house without legal process, and kept all of my possessions."

    California takes 'landlord lock-outs' very seriously.... and they are clearly both in violation of both civil and criminal statutes.

    From your post, it appears that your rent was unpaid (due to the NSF check), but even then, the landlord is REQUIRED to follow specific legal steps.

    The lock-out as you describe it violates CA Civ Code 789.3, as follows:
    "(a) A landlord shall not with intent to terminate the occupancy under any lease or other tenancy or estate at will, however created, of property used by a tenant as his residence willfully cause, directly or indirectly, the interruption or termination of any utility service furnished the tenant, including, but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, telephone, elevator, or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of the landlord.
    (b) In addition, a landlord shall not, with intent to terminate the occupancy under any lease or other tenancy or estate at will, however created, of property used by a tenant as his or her
    residence, willfully:
    (1) Prevent the tenant from gaining reasonable access to the property by changing the locks or using a bootlock or by any other similar method or device;
    (2) Remove outside doors or windows; or
    (3) Remove from the premises the tenant's personal property, the furnishings, or any other items without the prior written consent of the tenant, except when done pursuant to the procedure set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1980) of Title 5 of Part 4 of Division 3.
    Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prevent the lawful eviction of a tenant by appropriate legal authorities, nor shall anything in this subdivision apply to occupancies defined by subdivision (b) of Section 1940.
    (c) Any landlord who violates this section shall be liable to the tenant in a civil action for all of the following:
    (1) Actual damages of the tenant.
    (2) An amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) for each day or part thereof the landlord remains in violation of this section. In determining the amount of such award, the court shall consider proof of such matters as justice may require; however, in no event shall less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) be awarded for each separate cause of action. Subsequent or repeated violations, which are not committed contemporaneously with the
    initial violation, shall be treated as separate causes of action and shall be subject to a separate award of damages.
    (d) In any action under subdivision (c) the court shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party. In any such action the tenant may seek appropriate injunctive relief to prevent continuing or further violation of the provisions of this section during the pendency of the action. The remedy provided by this section is not exclusive and shall not preclude the tenant from
    pursuing any other remedy which the tenant may have under any other provision of law.

    790. After such notice has been served, and the period specified by such notice has expired, but not before, the landlord may reenter, or proceed according to law to recover possession."
    Source: [url]http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=civ&codebody=&hits=20[/url]

    In addition, if your landlord disposed, sold, or even gave YOUR property away without your permission, could be guilty of several criminal counts (theft, conversion, etc.).

  6. #6
    CaliCat Guest
    Doesn't sound legal to not at least let you have access to your possessions. Call a different sherriff.

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