There’s another law that’s making life difficult for Palm Springs, California, condo owner Cory Tschogl.
She’s having trouble getting a court date for an eviction hearing against a man and his brother who won’t leave her home after renting the place on Airbnb.
The squatters have been avoiding the process server trying to hand them legal documents summoning them to court.
Maksym Pashanin reserved Tschogl’s condo for 44 days through Airbnb. Although the reservation ended in mid-July, he only paid for 30 days of it, and Tschogl is being forced to go through the full legal eviction process due to a California law by which people who rent for 30 days can sometimes be considered month-to-month tenants.
He’s been occupying the condo with his brother, Denys, ever since. That’s not to say that they haven’t left the home — we’ve heard multiple rumours that they have. But they are free to come back until she gets a judgement that officially evicts them.
Tschogl originally told Business Insider that she had hoped to have that court judgement this week. But now a source says that a court date hasn’t been set yet because Maksym Pashanin has avoided being served.
He has been “disguising” himself to avoid having an identifying picture taken, the source tells us. If approached, he claims to be someone else.
That’s a delaying tactic that can be surprisingly effective in California, San Francisco attorney Hank Burgoyne tells Business Insider.
Judges prefer what’s known as “personal service” when the process server verifies the identity of the person (“Are you Maksym Pashanin?”) and hands the papers over directly.
Most judges won’t agree to proceed with a case until “you’ve made a compelling argument that the person is evading service.” That often requires three failed attempts at serving papers. And it’s helpful to have photos of a person sneaking away, too. (That’s where the disguise comes in.)
After that, a judge will usually agree to an alternative method of serving papers such as mailing it to an address or publishing a notice in the paper or in this case perhaps leaving it at the door.
All of that takes time, however, and also increases Tschogl’s legal expenses.
In the meantime, Tschogl seems to be stuck in legal limbo with her condo, not able to rent it out to others, even when the squatters leave the premises.