SANTA MARIA, Calif. - "Very traumatizing, very fearful."
That's how Nancy Ramirez describes the experience she recently had with her former landlord of a home she was renting in Santa Maria with her three children and their father.
Ramirez and her attorney have filed a court complaint seeking damages for what they claim was the unlawful eviction of her and her family from their rented home last month even though Ramirez says her rent was paid in full.
"There is no way that somebody else should have to go through this", Ramirez says about coming home one day last month to find the landlord changing the locks on the home and telling her she and her kids had to move out immediately without any notice, "they came in and made me move with me, and all my kids and my disabled mother and no, its not right, its not fair."
In their legal complaint the Ramirez family claims the landlord began terrorizing, intimidating and harassing them in order to get them to move out.
"Constantly followed me", Ramirez says of the landlord, "it was constant fear, how do you excuse that?"
A knock on the door of the home revealed new tenants living inside.
Nancy Ramirez is seeking damages of up to $100,000 for illegal eviction along with pain and suffering it caused to her and her family.
"He just changed the locks when they still lived there with their kids"< says Ramirez's attorney Robert Noble, "he just took everything they owned and put it in storage and they had no time to move or anything."
Noble says state law requires tenants be given at least two months notice of eviction.
"If you have lived there over a year you have to get a 60 day notice, that way they get time to move and find a new place for the kids", Noble says.
Even after 60 days notice, a landlord must still file paperwork in court seeking to legally evict a tenant who refuses to leave.
To read more about renter and landlord rights in California go to the California Department of Consumer Affairs at: