What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CALIFORNIA
In Los Angeles, my landlord is trying to wrongfully evict me from my apartment. I am wondering if he made fatal errors in the summons and complaint with which he had served upon me. I occupy the premises pursuant to an oral month-to-month rental agreement.
A. If correct names matter then, I am not the person named in the summons and complaint. The landlord almost invariably misspelled my first name. He erroneously transposed the “e” and the “I” letters. For example (the name herein is fictitious), instead of “Sheila”, he wrote “Shiela. Only once did he spell it correctly; that was in the complaint. Only once did he spell it correctly; that was on the last page of the complaint, in the page-top, heading section for the case title.
B. In the proof of service for the 3-day notice to quit, the server indicated that service was made on a “Shiela Jones”. (I have not yet seen the proof of service for the summons and complaint.)
C. The unlawful detainer suit is based upon a 3-Day Notice to Quit. Therein, the landlord’s stated reasons for termination are for nuisance and nonpayment of rent. (These are false contentions.) Curiously enough, in the complaint, the landlord indicates the termination reasons as being for nuisance and non-payment of security deposit. (These are also false allegations.) As a matter of fact, in the complaint, the landlord did not indicate the amount of rent that I agreed to pay; he left that blank. He is not even asking for any past due rent; I don’t owe any.
D. In two separate items of the complaint, he wrote that I had agreed to rent the premises as a month-to-month tenancy. (It is true that we had agreed to a month-to month tenancy.) But, also in the complaint, he contradicts his own assertions by checking a box for an item which reads, “Plaintiff demands possession from each defendant because of expiration of a fixed-term lease.”
E. The landlord printed and signed his name in the Verification section of the complaint. However, he did not date that verification. Oddly enough, the landlord also printed and signed his name in the Unlawful Detainer Assistant section of the complaint. He did enter a date in that particular section.
1. Was the service of the 3-day notice fatally defective, due to misspelling my first name in the proof of service itself?
2. Was the service of the summons and complaint fatally defective, due to misspellings of my name, within those very documents?
3. Is the complaint fatally defective where the landlord did not enter a date in the verification section, i.e. where he printed and signed his name?
4. How should I respond to this complaint? That is, do I need to file an answer or a motion to quash; or, do I wait for a ruling and then file something analogous to a claim of right to possession?
5. What specific defenses can I raise at trial? Are any of them affirmative defenses?
6. At trial, how can I persuade the court that it should not rule on the case—as a matter of law—due to defective service or defective summons and/or complaint?
Misspellings are as follows:
1. In the proof of service for the 3-day notice to quit: “I, …, served a 3 Day to Quit on this persons: Shiela Jones”
2. In the summons: “NOTICE TO DEFENDANT: Shiela Jones
3. In the complaint:
a. (On the first page, in the case title section): Defendant: Shiela Jones.
b. Item #1, “Plaintiff…alleges causes of action against DEFENDANT: Shiela Jones”.
c. Item #6. “…defendant Shiela Jones agreed to rent the premises as a month-to-month tenancy”
d. Item # 7. a., “Defendant Shiela Jones was served the following notice on the same date and in the same manner, i.e., 3-day notice to quit.”
e. Also on two separate pages, similarly misspelled my first name in the page-top, heading section for the case title. However, on the last page of the complaint, my name was correctly spelled, i.e. “Sheila”, in its page-top, heading section for the case title.