Unlawful Detainer Settlement Conference Program - Marin Superior Court

Unlawful Detainer icon Project Name: Unlawful Detainer Settlement Conference Program
Court: Marin Superior Court
   Links: Court Civil Webpage

Overview/Program Description:

In collaboration with Legal Aid of Marin County, the court and Legal Aid applied for an IOLTA Partnership Grant from the State Bar to offer mandatory settlement conferences for all unlawful detainer cases in the week before trial. The court provides oversight and gives direction to the parties when they appear for their settlement conferences; then Legal Aid attorneys and volunteer local attorneys meet with the parties in each case and attempt to resolve the cases. When they are successful they draft settlement agreements, signed by both parties, and present them to the court.

Program Benefits/Savings:

Generally, landlords and tenants are very satisfied with the program. In most cases, tenants are able to negotiate more time to move out, if that is the resolution of the agreement. Landlords are also able to negotiate payment plans to catch up on rent arrearages or to address property damage claims. Attorneys who practice in this area appreciate using settlement conferences as a way to avoid preparing for trial and believe that they achieve better outcomes for their clients. Most tenants and many landlords are in pro per for these hearings so it is extremely helpful to have attorneys assist them with drafting settlement agreements. The satisfaction of the litigants is the best measure of success. The high percentage of cases that achieve successful settlement (85 to 90 percent) is a measure of the effectiveness of this program.

Other Courts Using Similar Programs:

  • San Mateo Superior Court