When taking my tenants to court for non-payment of rent, do I have to amend this same case if I later file another case against them for damages?

UPDATED: Oct 6, 2011

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When taking my tenants to court for non-payment of rent, do I have to amend this same case if I later file another case against them for damages?

My tenants did not pay the money agreed upon in our rental contract, then decided to quit paying rent. I filed a civil lawsuit against them in the county where they were currently living in our rental house. We went to court on that case and it was settled. Later, tenants moved out (and moved to a different county) and we filed suit for damages in their home county. Judge threw our case out. He said we should have amended 1st one.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, it seems that the reason why the judge dismissed your second lawsuit was because you filed suit initially against your former tenants and settled the dispute where the tenants eventually ended up moving out of the rental.

Under the law, if there was a claim that was pending (but not mentioned in the initial lawsuit) it should have been mentioned in the beginning and have been part of the settlement.

Under the laws of all states in this country, if one has a claim against a person that could have been asserted in a pending lawsuit but fails to do so, the claim is considered waived in that it should have been brought at that time. I sense that is what the judge did when he dismissed your second lawsuit when he said that you should have amended the first one.

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