Cases & Deals

Tenant celebrates complete dismissal of an unlawful detainer action

Clients Carmela Gutierrez

On January 8, 2009, Jones Day, in a case referred by Bet Tzedek, obtained a complete dismissal of an unlawful detainer action that sought to evict our client and her family from their home of nearly twenty years. The plaintiff landlord alleged nonpayment of rent, relying on a 1990 lease agreement that provided for rent to be due on the second of each month. But this was the first time in over a decade that plaintiff had attempted to enforce this lease provision and we took the position that the doctrine of estoppel barred plaintiff's claims.

The parties were prepared to go to trial, but in an in-chambers conference minutes before opening statements were to commence, the Commissioner strongly encouraged the plaintiff landlord to settle, noting the persuasiveness of defendant's trial brief. Plaintiff agreed to dismiss the case provided that rent would be paid on the second of each month, and also agreed to remedy the habitability issues at the residence, including an unspeakable roach infestation.

This was a wonderful result for our client and her family, who are incredibly grateful to be able to remain in their home of nearly twenty years. The Jones Day team was lead by associate Kate Wallace, with help from associate Sarah Conway and partner Phil Cook.

Chui Yee Ju v. Carmela Gutierrez, Roman Torres

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