United States District Court, Northern District of California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PORTION OF THE SECURITY AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
This individual action involved a landlord-tenant dispute regarding rent payments. After a temporary restraining order was lifted and judgment was entered in their favor, defendants moved for a portion of the security deposited by plaintiff in connection with the temporary restraining order. Plaintiff opposed and moved for money from defendants. For the reasons stated herein, plaintiffs motion is DENIED. Defendants' motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Prior orders recounted the history of this action so it will not be repeated herein (Dkt. Nos. 5, 33, 51, 58). In brief, on August 11, 2014, pro se plaintiff Fanya Young, an attorney, commenced this action and filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent her eviction. A hearing was held and an August 11 temporary restraining order followed. Defendants were enjoined from seeking to evict Attorney Young until a hearing on her motion for a preliminary injunction, provided that she post a security deposit. A $5, 000 security deposit was placed with the Court (Dkt. No. 8).
The day before the preliminary injunction hearing, Attorney Young moved for an extension so that she could depose a non-party. The temporary restraining order was extended so that Attorney Young could take the requested discovery. Attorney Young then moved for "sanctions, " including "releasing the bond of $5, 000, " and defendants moved to dismiss.
A September 4 order lifted the temporary restraining order and denied the motion for a preliminary injunction. A September 10 order denied plaintiff leave to file a motion for reconsideration (Dkt. Nos. 33, 51).
A September 30 order granted defendants' motion to dismiss because plaintiff was precluded from re-litigating the same issues litigated in her prior state court action which resulted in a stipulation and final judgment. Attorney Young's motion for sanctions was denied. Judgment was entered in favor of defendants (Dkt. Nos. 58, 59).
Plaintiff then commenced an appeal by filing an "emergency motion for injunction pending appeal." Our court of appeals denied plaintiffs "emergency motion." Attorney Young then filed a declaration stating her monthly rent was $763, in connection with her request to continue in forma pauperis status on appeal.
On October 24, defendants filed a motion to claim against plaintiffs $5, 000 security deposit. Defendants filed a declaration stating that Attorney Young "remained in possession at the Premises during the month of August and September 2014. She paid no rent during this time. The rental value of the Premises is $763 a month .... Fanya Young remained in the Premises through October 7, 2014" (Crane Decl. ¶¶ 3-5).
On November 7, plaintiff opposed and moved for $1, 835 from defendants, "which is the difference of Plaintiff s overpayments and the amount of rent owed from August 1, 2014 through October 8, 2014." This order follows full briefing and oral argument on December 18, 2014. Both Attorney Young and counsel for defendants appeared in person. The Court was willing to hear from the "witness" Attorney Young brought with her, but Attorney Young stated that her "witness" could not testify because he was represented by other counsel in an unrelated, pending unlawful detainer action in state court.
1. Plaintiff's Motion.
Attorney Young seeks affirmative relief from defendants based on the theory that she "overpaid" money to defendants more than a year ago. That is, she allegedly "overpaid" defendants (1) before she signed a stipulation with defendants, dated August 2013, regarding her rent payments; (2) before judgment was entered in the unlawful detainer action in state ...