Unlawful Detainer

Unlawful Detainer / Eviction is a summary expedited procedure whose primary purpose is to evict a tenant or occupant, i.e., to establish right to possession of real estate

Under California Law (California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1116, et seq.), Unlawful Detainer actions are a summary (expedited) eviction procedure — one of the fastest civil trial procedures possible.

The sole triable issues in a UD action are

  • Right to Possession &
  • Incidental Damages

Important Allegations of a UD Complaint include

  • proper Plaintiff
  • proper Defendant(s), i.e., tenants, subtenants, occupants
  • proper Venue
  • Description of Premises
  • Landlord-Tenant (or other) Relationship subject to a UD action
  • Service of Notice of Termination
  • Status of Rental Agreement
  • proper Basis for Eviction
  • certain Limited Incidental Damages (optional)
  • Basis for Attorney Fees request (customary)
  • Request for Restoration of Possession, Forfeiture
  • Verification, per CCP § 1116 (a)(1)
  • Service of Prejudgment Claim of Right of Possession, to be effective against persons who appear to or claim possession.

Judicial Council Form UD-100 is optionally used, but use of the form does not excuse Landlord from pleading all essential elements of a UD claim. Failure to adhere to necessary pleading rules and/or attach necessary documents may result in a demurrer or motion to strike by the defendant. Landlords using Form UD-100 should be sure to attached the 3-Day Notice (Item 9e) and include proof or an allegation of nonpayment of rent Item 6) and all other essential elements.

In California, response to the Landlord’s service of the summons and complaint is due within five (5) days, not including weekends and holidays. Failure to file a response within five days may result in the Landlord’s default victory in the UD action.