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I was renting a home from my parents when my husband got arrested and went to jail. I had no eviction notice. I am in Tulare County, in the city of Visalia, in California.

I was unable to pay my rent on time, however, the month was not over. With no warning, while I was at work, my parents went into my home and moved me and my three kids out. They moved us in about a day into a smaller house. They told me it was because my husband went to jail.

While I was at work, with no warning, my parents moved our stuff again. They moved us in with them, but this time they threw most my stuff away. When I came home from work, I told my father that I didn't want him to throw my stuff away anymore. On multiple occasions thereafter, they threw away more of my stuff or took it for themselves/friends, again without warning.

The house they are living in now is the first house they moved me out of. This was a house that my son and I found, and my parents were promising to help me buy it. After 6 months they promised to put in my name if I proved that I would continue to work which I have for ten years.

Is there anything legally I can do to get my family out of their grip?

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  • Also note that we cannot give legal advice, such as telling you what you should do, but can answer questions about the law. – Ryan M Nov 18 '20 at 20:23
  • are there laws being broken? – Tammy Nov 18 '20 at 21:42
  • this is not all they have done. when covid hit they kicked us out because I continued to work. later they called me and told me they would help me if I came back but when we returned they had actually put up a wall in the hallway blocking our two rooms and a bathroom from the rest of the house. we have to go through a back gate which we have no keys for, and s liding door that also wont lock and through my kids rooms to get to my room or a bathroom. we have no kitchen. they moved my refridgerater outside and is now ruined. – Tammy Nov 18 '20 at 21:54
  • I've submitted an edit, trying to leave as much of the post as possible while making it readable. – Studoku Nov 18 '20 at 23:50
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    You seem conflicted. On the one hand, you say that you are at their mercy. On the other hand, you say that you are in their grip. Your situation seems like your parents not respecting your boundaries. It maybe the fact that they technically stepped outside the law, but since they seem to continue providing you with some sort of financial support, you may not be best served by challenging them legally. Have you looked into reaching out to any social workers? – grovkin Nov 19 '20 at 19:16
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Yes, they seem to have broken the law.

In California, notice must be given for an eviction. This can be a 30/60/90 day notice with no reason needed (typically because the landlord wants the property for something else) or a 3 day notice with cause- the most typical being not paying the rent. Note that COVID exceptions exist, though I don't believe they apply to you.

Even after that time, a landlord cannot physically remove a tenant or attempt to drive them out through the destruction/removal of property, locking them out, or cutting off utilities. They are liable for damages suffered as well as penalties. There are lawful procedures in place for this.

The removal and destruction of your belongings could constitute either larceny or vandalism. Either way, by unlawfully removing your possessions, they are liable for the damages caused.

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  • Is it not complicated by the fact that kids stayed with the parents for a time? Does this not make the parents members of the household? – grovkin Nov 19 '20 at 19:08
  • @grovkin It's hard to figure out if that even happened from OPs account but the second house should certainly apply here. – Studoku Nov 19 '20 at 19:49
  • Im not understanding, The only reason im where i am is due to the fact they moved me out of the home i was renting and into their home. in less than 3 days. we stayed there for a couple of days after a home invasion where my son had been injured because they were scared to be there directly after and needed some distance and I was planning on cleaning the mess before letting them go back. This was not my decision either, my parents offered to have us spend the night and by day two they were moving me out. – Tammy Nov 19 '20 at 20:11
  • Were you renting the home you were moved from from your parents? – Studoku Nov 19 '20 at 22:14
  • yes I was. I had been there a couple years. – Tammy Nov 19 '20 at 23:18

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