Saturday, September 14, 2013

Too Much Drama to Handle in an Unlawful Detainer

Martin-Bragg v. Moore, No. B238772 (D2d1 Sept. 3, 2013)

In a colorful unlawful detainer case between parties with significant romantic and financial back stories, in which pretty much every document is asserted to be a forgery, a pro se appellant manages to overturn a UD judgment against him because the dispute implicated the underlying title to the property. Because the title dispute—which was pending in a separate case—raised complex issues of fact, the court of appeal held that trial court should have consolidated the cases and treated the consolidated dispute as a regular civil case. By effectively deciding the title issue in under summary UD procedures that afford no discovery, the trial court erred in a manner that prejudiced appellant’s rights to have the title issue resolved in an ordinary civil case with full procedural protections. Reversed.

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