The eviction process

Part III – Contested Evictions

PArt III – By Trial or Stipulation


The Eviction Notice

tenant’s response


A tenant typically has five days to respond to a complaint (time may vary depending on process of service used).  If a tenant responds, it will be primarily done though an Answer.  Other possible responses from a tenant could be a motion to demur, to strike, or to quash service, but it is infrequent.  If a tenant cannot pay court fees, a request for a waiver can be filled out.



to bench or jury trial


If a tenant response to a complaint, the landlord should immediately request a bench trial.  (Generally, bench trials favor landlords and jury trials favor tenants.)  Tenants should never request a trial themselves, and should only counter request for a jury trial, to delay as much as possible.

  • Request/Counter Request to Set Case for Trial – Unlawful Detainer (form UD-150)


don’t settle, stipulate


At any time, the parties can agree to settle the eviction lawsuit.  Although settlements do not need court approval to be binding, it is good practice to use a court ordered stipulation instead.  In this way the court is involved during the enforcement phase, otherwise a new suit may be needed to be filed if either party does not perform as required (see, “Don’t Settle, Stipulate“).  Once a settlement or stipulation is fully performed, the landlord, or tenant, must request a dismissal of the lawsuit.



trial preparations


If there is no settlement during the pre-trial phase, a trial will happen.  As with most trial, there are a lot of potential issues that a landlord may not be prepared for, and it would be prudent to hire an attorney at this stage.  Possible issues: affirmative defenses (i.e., habitability, discrimination), pre-trial discovery motions, §998 settlement offer, bench or jury trial, insurance policy issues, and possible bankruptcy filing.

  • Call Attorney for Legal Advice
  • Form Interrogatories – Unlawful Detainer (form UD-106)


<—- Part II – Default Judgment —- Part IV – Sheriff’s Lockout —->

The Eviction Process

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