Standing to bring/initiate a Unlawful Detainer Case is very relevant to the success or defeat of the case. As a Paralegal who has both prepared the Unlawful Detainer on behalf of the Petitioner and an Answer on behalf of the Defendant, I have learned to do a little homework before I get to work. Taking the time to do this has yielded numerous victories for the law firms/attorneys I have been employed by.
I never assume, I always fact check on my own when handed an assignment. Standing is the first item I check for. Very important topic in a variety of ways. If you are the Plaintiff and lack standing it will be your quick demise of the case before ever getting started. If you are the Defendant it will lead you to your success often times right out of the gate.
In different areas of law there are different ways to search for the specific Standing of a party. In Unlawful Detainer Cases, it is the County Recorder's office in the County where the subject property is located within. Don't assume the Plaintiff has Standing to bring the action just because "they say they do". Attorneys and Defendants often make this mistake. I have seen Attorneys who represent the Plaintiff at hearing left with their mouth open when the Defendant raises the Affirmative Defense at hearing, that Plaintiff lacks Standing to bring the Complaint For Unlawful Detainer and has lodged evidence of same with the Court. I have seen Plaintiff's lack of Standing to bring a case be a slam dunk for the Defendant(s), resulting in dismissal of the instant action and requiring Plaintiff to incur additional costs and fees to refile the case in the name of the party with proper Standing.
Another, resource to verify Standing is the Tax Assessor's Office for the County in which the property is located within. These are just a few ways I do a little homework before I get down to typing. I will discuss, other resources I utilize if future blogs from State Courts, District Courts to the United States Bankruptcy Court. Not taking the time to do a thing can often become it's undoing.
As a prudential matter, Plaintiff must assert “his own legal interests as the real party in interest,” Dunmore v. United States, 358 F.3d 1107, 1112 (9th Cir. 2004), as found in FED. R. CIV. P. 17, which provides “[a]n action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.”