California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

4341. Statutory Damages on Showing of Malice (Code Civ. Proc., § 1174(b))

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4341.Statutory Damages on Showing of Malice (Code Civ. Proc.,
§ 1174(b))
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she/it] is entitled to statutory damages
in addition to actual damages. To recover statutory damages, [name of
plaintiff] must prove that [name of defendant] acted with malice.
A tenant acts with malice if he or she willfully continues to occupy the
property with knowledge that he or she no longer has the right to do so.
You must determine how much, if any, statutory damages should be
awarded, up to a maximum of $600. You should not award any
statutory damages if you find that [name of defendant] had a good-faith
and a reasonable belief in [his/her/its] right to continue to occupy the
New August 2007
Sources and Authority
• Statutory Damages on Showing of Malice. Code of Civil Procedure section
• “The rule appears to be well established in California that a lessee of real
property who wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and obstinately withholds
possession of the property, with knowledge of the termination of his lease and
against the will of the landlord, is liable for [statutory] damages.” (Erbe Corp.
v. W & B Realty Co. (1967) 255 Cal.App.2d 773, 780 [63 Cal.Rptr. 462].)
• “Authorities . . . do not hold that the [penalty should be imposed] where the
conduct of the tenant is characterized by good faith and a reasonable belief in
his right to remain . . . .” (Board of Public Service Comm’rs v. Spear (1924) 65
Cal.App. 214, 217–218 [223 P.423], internal citations omitted, overruled, other
grounds, Richard v. Degen & Brody, Inc. (1960) 181 Cal.App.2d 289, 302–304,
5 Cal.Rptr. 263.)
Secondary Sources
12 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2006) Real Property, § 738
2California Landlord-Tenant Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed.) §§ 12.32–12.34
2 California Eviction Defense Manual (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed.) § 26.13
7 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 210, Unlawful Detainer, § 210.95
(Matthew Bender)
Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Landlord-Tenant Litigation, Ch. 5,
Unlawful Detainer, 5.27
29 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 333, Landlord and Tenant:
Eviction Actions, § 333.13 (Matthew Bender)
23 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 236, Unlawful Detainer, § 236.22
(Matthew Bender)
Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, Ch. 19, Landlord-Tenant, § 19:208
(Thomson Reuters)