If an ex-tenant at Stanford University gets her way in appellate court, evictions across California could take much longer.
To fend off this scenario, the California Apartment Association has filed a brief in the case of Stanford vs. Christine Marie Ham.
The amicus brief holds that Stanford took sufficient steps to reach Ham in person before posting eviction paperwork — an unlawful detainer summons and complaint — to her front door and mailing them to her rental unit. In addition, Ham’s employer information was outdated, an additional obstacle to handing her the documents in person.
Ham, on the East Coast at the time Stanford tried to serve her with papers, ultimately was evicted and appealed to the Sixth Appellate District Court. She argues that Stanford’s five attempts to deliver eviction papers at her residence — at different times and different days — weren’t enough before resorting to posting and mailing.
The brief, filed by CAA, contends that landlords already are required to take sufficient steps before posting and mailing eviction papers. This includes the inability, after multiple attempts, of a process server to deliver eviction documents and the lack of an alternate address for forwarding them.
The Sixth District Court of Appeal accepted CAA’s brief earlier this month. A hearing in the case is scheduled for at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Panelli Moot Courtroom, Bergin Hall-School of Law, Santa Clara University.
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.