Monday, May 22, 2017

The Curious Case Of The Forged Lease

I was in court on a landlord-tenant matter that wasn't really a landlord-tenant matter at all.

We were suing to evict a girlfriend/moochee of the recently deceased resident of the house on behalf of his family. Note I said resident, not owner, that will come up later.

Did I mention the girlfriend/moochee is trashing the house and also happens to have a felony for manufacturing marijuana and seems to be trying to convert the basement of the house into a growing operation while at the same time making it unhealthy to live there? So getting her out is kinda important.

So I filed the requisite papers to get her out and lo and behold she gets an attorney.

Who then files a counter-complaint claiming she has a lease and sues for invasion of privacy, constructive eviction, disturbance of quiet enjoyment and seeks $25,000 plus in damages to get it kicked up to Circuit Court. In short nonsense because the deceased and the daughter have lived there as well and she's allowed to go get her stuff so the claims are basically nonsense, but if there's a real lease they've at least got a fight.

But it gets better.

So I'm looking at the supposed lease attached to the counter-complaint. It's filled out in a lady's handwriting, it's for ten years, at $200 a month for a frickin' house including utilities. The utilities have consistently been more than $200 per month btw. On top of that, there's a hilarious term that the deceased had allegedly agreed to give her 1 day notice any time before he came to the premises - while he was living there! Best of all, the signature purportedly of the deceased looks like its been traced repeatedly, as in multiple outlines of the signature - oh, and the middle name of the signature is misspelled.

Comparing the signature to the one on his driver's license shows multiple irregularities aside from the tracing, like his misspelled middle name. It doesn't take a handwriting expert to know this doc won't fly.

Don't try and forge documents while on drugs kids - the results ain't pretty.

This is gonna be fun.

So we show up in court and her attorney tries to get the case adjourned and removed to Circuit Court.

I quickly point out that not only do the court rules have the eviction proceeding remain in District Court but we're dealing with a very clear forgery and I can have five witnesses that are present including the deceased's ex-wife all swear that's not his signature and the lease makes no sense on its face. I then point out something even better:

The deceased never had any right to lease out the premises. He never owned the house.

It belonged to his mother and he never had it put in his name after she dies - 12 years ago - so it belongs to her estate, the personal representative of which is yep, my client.

Her attorney tries to say this is an issue and they need time to address it. The judge instead agrees with me that time is of the essence and considering that the lease can't even legally be entered into as he had no rights to lease the premises, not to mention the curious terms and handwriting, then grants a judgment in my client's favor and dismissed their counter-complaint without prejudice and says if they really want to still go for damages they can go file it again and try their luck in Circuit Court.

Something tells me her attorney won't be crazy enough to file a clearly fraudulent document a second time.


MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

You smell that...the smell of "shadenfreude"....Don't you love it when a scammer gets nailed in court?

Murphy's Law said...

"But Obama said I could have a house and not have to pay for it!"

Aaron said...

MrGarabaldi: Yep, she was not a happy camper once we were done with her.

ML: Past promises, especially by a lying politician, is no guarantee of future or current performance.