California Unlawful Detainer Response

Filing a California unlawful detainer response involves a straightforward process. You have five days to file your response if you were personally served. Act quickly in filing your response to protect your legal rights. Contact San Diego Esquire for help in completing the legal documents you need to file a response to the unlawful detainer action. Our flat fee legal document preparation service starts at $125. 

Receiving Notice to Terminate a Tenancy

California law requires landlords to provide tenants with notice of their intention of terminating a tenancy. A landlord must provide a tenant with either a 30 or 60-day notice or the opportunity to remedy an issue before filing an eviction lawsuit. Landlords must provide tenants who have resided in a rental for less than one year with a 30-day notice. Tenants who have resided in a rental for more than one year are entitled to a 60-day notice.

The unlawful detainer (eviction lawsuit) complaint is filed after the notice period ends. The tenant must act quickly upon receiving notice of the eviction lawsuit.

Determining Whether to File a Response

If you receive an unlawful detainer complaint, you may decide to promptly move out or file a response. The unlawful detainer response must be drafted in the proper legal format and filed with the court. Tenants who are personally served with the unlawful detainer complaint and summons have five days to file a response with the court. Tenants who are served by mail have 15 days to file a response from the post-mark date. An unlawful detainer response can still be filed beyond the deadline so long as the landlord has not filed a “Request to Enter Default” with the court.

Before you file your response consider filing a California unlawful detainer motion to challenge the lawsuit. For example, if the landlord did not provide you with proper notice of the lawsuit, you can file a motion to quash service of summons. This will require the landlord to provide you with written notice before filing a subsequent unlawful detainer complaint with the court. You can also file a motion to strike the eviction complaint if it has serious defects such as containing false and irrelevant claims.

Contact San Diego Esquire for more information about unlawful detainer motions.

Legal Forms Needed to File Unlawful Detainer Response

You need to complete the following forms to file a California unlawful detainer response:

Each named defendant must file a separate answer. The defendants can share an answer form as well. Each defendant will be required to sign the form and pay a separate filing fee. The filed answer must be served on the landlord.

What Happens After You File an Unlawful Detainer Response?

After the answer is filed with the court, a trial will be scheduled within 20 days from the date the plaintiff request for a trial to be set. If you lost at trial, consider filing a stay to remain in the rental for up to 40 more days.

Contact us today for assistance in filing your unlawful detainer response. You can file a counter-claim against your landlord in your response. Sign up today to get started.

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