Appeals court schedules hearing in ‘nail and mail’ case

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A judicial panel has rescheduled oral arguments in Stanford University vs. Christine Marie Ham, a case that threatens to make evictions more difficult and time-consuming.

California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal will hear the arguments at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, at 333 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose.

In the case, Ham, an ex-tenant at Stanford, argues that the University did not take sufficient steps to reach her in person before posting eviction paperwork on her front door and mailing them to her rental unit.

A process server for Stanford made five attempts — at different times and days — to personally serve Ham with an unlawful detainer summons and complaint. Ham’s employer information was outdated, and she was on the East Coast at the time.

Ham was evicted, and she ultimately took the case to the Sixth District Court of Appeal.

The California Apartment Association filed a brief saying Stanford took adequate steps to give Ham the eviction documents in person.

If Ham prevails, the threshold that landlords must now meet before posting and mailing eviction papers could grow, compromising the expediency of evictions intended in current law.

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