From our bloggers: What is an unlawful detainer summons and complaint lawsuit?

Unlawful detainer is a growing problem throughout the world and also in USA. In the state of California this problem of unlawful detainers is increasingly on the rise and it is important for owners to understand their rights. Eviction can be a sticky business since there are several humane and legal aspects involved therefore understanding your options and rights is the key to handling this situation correctly.

Before going into the details it is first important to understand that what is an unlawful detainer or what is the definition of a an unlawful detainer. The term of unlawful detainer is generally referred to the conduct or behavior of a tenant who is in possession of an apartment or leased property and refuses to leave the premises once the lease has terminated.

State laws and common law differ on how to deal with an unlawful detainer. The common law allows the landlord to personally enter and remove the tenant by force for nonpayment and/or violation of the lease. On the other hand the U.S state laws require a grieved landlord to file an unlawful detainer action in the court of law. This is to ensure that the due process is followed in the processing of this matter and that there is no violation of the rights that are guaranteed to the tenant under the 5th Amendments of the U.S Constitution.

Once the lease agreement has expired the unlawful detainer action can be filed immediately but before this case can be presented in the court of law there is due process that needs to be completed. For example in the Orange County forms and sheets like Civil Case Cover Sheet, Unlawful Detainer Summons and Unlawful Detainer Complaint need to be filled and filed before any legal proceedings can actually take place.

Once the paper work has been completed then the documents need to be submitted to the Superior Court of California which is the only court that has the power to listen to this case. The above statement has an exception that if the amount owed exceeds $ 25,000 then such cases are to be filed at the Central Justice Centre which is in the unlimited civil division.

There are special rules for those tenants who are performing active service in the military. Active servicemen can be entitled to delay of an eviction action for 90 days considering his/her circumstances. This rule is extended to the servicemen’s and their dependents in a residential unit which has a $ 2400 or lesser monthly rent. The judge in this case has the authority to adjust the length and terms of the delay as per requirement.

It is important to know that a California unlawful detainer also has rights and he/she can take appropriate action in the court of law to counter your legal maneuvering. Depending upon the facts of the case several legal responses to the landlords filing can be made. A motion to quash service summons can be filed if the summons and complaints have not been served properly. In case there are any technical weaknesses in the complaint then a Demurrer can be filed against the complaint. It is important to carefully asses each and every case and give due time in preparing that case and submitting the documents which have been completed properly to have a fair chance of winning against your opponent.

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