370 - Demurrer to the Complaint

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This paperwork challenges mistakes in the Complaint, of which there are almost always some. Unlke the Answer, where you deny the accusations of the Complaint directly and explain your position, the Demurrer attacks the Complaint itself as an improper accusation. It may be that the complaint has technical mistakes, or is confusing and inconsistent. It may be that the landlord cannot legally proceed because of failure to file a fictitious business name statement. It may be that the 3-day notice or other paperwork has technical defects. There are many such defects.

When these defects exist, you can ignore them and just file your Answer, or you can challenge them by demurrer. In your initial consultation when Ken has the Complaint in hand, he may be able to spot the mistakes right away, and advise you that a demurrer will be one of the tools in your belt. The mistakes aren't always easy to spot.

The hearing on the demurrer is set out about a month away, by law, and even if you lose it, you still generally have another 10 days after that to file your Answer. For a $500 investment, you can get about 6 weeks more, so most tenants agree to do that. If the demurrer is successful, you can get even more time, since the landlord has to start over with a better complaint, or maybe even dismiss the case and start with a new notice.

Like the Motion to Quash, you do NOT need to attend this hearing, and therefore you avoid losing time from work, and actually can gain more time overall than if you did attend it.

The demurrer does NOT include related phone consultations, email, problems filing it, emails, faxes, and other communications, which are properly addressed by a further consultation. It does NOT include reviewing any Opposition filed and sent by the landlord, and Reply to that Opposition, or any effort to shorten the time for hearing on the demurrer.

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