For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin King, Executive Director
California Office of the Courts to Educate Small Claims Courts about Lien Sale Amendment
CSSA Contacts Courts after Members Are Turned Away
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA — May 17, 2012—The California Self Storage Association (CSSA) is pleased to announce that the Judicial Council of California's Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has agreed to work with its education division regarding the authority provided to small claims courts by the recent amendments to Code of Civil Procedure section 21710. This will include but not be limited to placing information about the amendments in training programs and educational materials for small claims judicial officers and temporary judges.
The CSSA contacted Judicial Council of California on April 2, 2012, after receiving reports that many small claims judges and commissioners in California were unaware of their expanded authority to hear self-storage lien suits as dictated by AB 655. Enacted in 2010, AB 655 includes amendments to Business and Professional Code sections 21705(b) and 21710), which clarify that California small claims courts have jurisdiction over and the authority to grant judgments on contested self-storage liens.
In a letter dated May 4, 2012, Anne M. Ronan, an attorney with the AOC, agrees that effective January 1, 2011, parties may file in small claims court to enforce liens under the Self-Service Storage Facilities Act, and states that she will work with the AOC's Education Division to make sure that small claims courts' judicial officers are better educated about the changes.
"When we heard from our members that they were being turned away when taking their Declaration in Opposition to lien sale cases to small claims court, we knew that we had to take action,” says Erin King, CSSA Executive Director, adding that it was clear that some of the courts had not yet received the communication on the new legislation. "We will be loading a copy of the response letter into our online store so that our members can print it and take it with them to court. We recommend this letter be a part of any legal documents being taken to small claims court.”
While Ms. Ronan states that the AOC may not offer any legal advice, she does note that parties in small claims actions may seek a review of a courts action via a writ to the court of appeal or, under Code of Civil Procedures section 116.725, may move to set aside and vacate a judgment on the grounds of an incorrect or erroneous legal basis for the decision.
For more information about this and other CSSA initiatives, please visit www.californiaselfstorage.org .
About The California Self-Storage Association
Founded in 2002, the California Self Storage Association (CSSA) is the state not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to serving the California Self-Storage industry including owner-operators, facility managers and industry vendors. The CSSA represents some 450 direct member companies that own and operate over 1,200 facilities in California. CSSA direct members range from individual facility owner-operators to multiple-facility operations, to the industry's largest publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).