Can a judge dismiss an eviction filed by a landlord based on the fact thathe is not the property owner or an attorney?

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Can a judge dismiss an eviction filed by a landlord based on the fact thathe is not the property owner or an attorney?

I am the landlord/manager of these rental properties and I had filed an unlawful detainer on a tenant that has failed to pay rent the last 3 months. When I went to court on the set date I brought with me my signed contract of my status as landlord, plus the property owner was with me in court and the judge still dismissed the case stating I had no right to be there let alone to talk to him in open court. I am not sure as to why the judge wouldn’t hear me or the owner which has now caused us to have to refile in the owners name, which now have to pay all over again.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The main reason would probably be the following: if the property is actually owned by a corporation or an LLC (so the property owner owns the property through a corporation or LLC)---and the case was filed in the name of an LLC or corporation--then you need an attorney to represent it: a person may only represent himself or herself, not another person, in court, and a corporation is legally a person, while an LLC is treated like a person in this regards. So if there's a corporation or LLC involved, there is no non-lawyer who can represent it in court; only an attorney can do that. That, by the way, is why you can't speak on behalf the owner in any event: whether the owner is a corporation, an LLC, or a natural person, you--unless you are an attorney--cannot represent him, her, or it in court.


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