“So the sheriff told me, be careful. There’s something wrong here. You’d better open your eyes and hurry up. It might be too late for you. He was honest. I said really? And I went to go get help.”
“When we got the unlawful detainer. Everyone was saying it’s too late now. And it was hard to find legal representation. I paid to a person like 400 for a motion. I went to Santa Monica, and paid to this guy to do a motion. Hector. They were outside the court. I didn’t know what to do and he said don’t worry we can help you. 450? I didn’t know anything. I was nervous.”
“I remember Anthony, who helped us at the end, he was only able to negotiate more time.”
Rolando’s experience illustrates how crucial it is to have a counsel at the earliest stages of an eviction proceeding, and how important making sure a program is well funded and well publicized is to keep tenants informed of their rights. Because Rolando didn’t know he needed a lawyer until it was too late, he was forced out of his home even though the eviction was made under what even the Sheriff serving the Unlawful Detainer said were false pretenses. A fully funded, codified Civil Right to Counsel will also prevent those facing eviction from falling prey to scams like those perpetrated by Hector.