Unlawful Detainer / Evictions
Notice of Termination
The Unlawful Detainer (eviction) lawsuit begins when the landlord gives a Notice of Termination to the tenant. The Notice will state the reason for the eviction (e.g., nonpayment of rent, lease violation) and may ask the tenant to fix the problem.
Summons and Complaint
If the tenant does not comply with what the landlord is asking in the Notice, the landlord begins the court process by filing a Summons and Complaint and having someone serve (i.e., give a copy to) the tenant.
Default and Lockout
At this point, the tenant has only five (5) business days to file an Answer or responsive motion. If the tenant does nothing, the landlord can go to court and obtain a Default Judgment against him. After a default judgment, the tenant no longer has the ability to fight the landlord’s allegations or assert legal rights. The landlord can also start the process that ends in the sheriff’s locking out the tenant.
Court and Judgment
If the tenant responds within five business days, the landlord typically sets the case for trial, and a Mandatory Settlement Conference will be scheduled. This conference gives parties the opportunity to resolve their lawsuit in way that satisfies both sides, without trial. If the parties cannot resolve their differences, the case proceeds to Trial. If the landlord wins, she gains possession of the premises and the tenant must leave. If the tenant wins, she is allowed to stay in the unit and pay rent.
For detailed information on the eviction process, please visit the following websites:
Do It Yourself
We have an online form preparation program available that will ask you to answer questions that are used to complete the forms needed to file an Unlawful Detainer/Eviction Complaint or Answer. This program will also allow you to print out all the completed necessary forms.
If you would like the Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator's Office to review your forms before you file, then do not make copies until after the Center has reviewed your documents.
Get Help Paying Rent
Tenants and landlords can get help with paying rent and utilities by calling (833) 687-0967. Calling this statewide number will direct you to a local organization that can help you with the application process. Tenants will need to provide financial information concerning income and household size in order to qualify.
For detailed program information, please visit the Housing is Key website.
The local organizations and their direct numbers are:
|CityServe Network||(916) 837-9050|
|CRLA||(805) 544-7994 x1514 (for tenants only)|
|5 Cities Homeless Coalition||(805) 574-1638|
|Independent Living Resource Center||(805) 462-1162 x412 (for people with disabilities)|
|Salvation Army||(833) 687-0967|
|Interface 211 Call Center||(805) 541-1234|
(805) 544 7994
Learn about the eviction process with a guide for landlords, a guide for tenants, detailed instructions, forms, and resources.
Find information and resources regarding the foreclosure process.
Learn about security deposits, what are valid legal reasons for a landlord to keep all or part of a security deposit, and how to go to court to ask for the return of a security deposit.