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Unlawful Detainer Actions

When the landlord has given you a notice (3-day, 30-day, etc.) and the time in the notice has ended, he/she can file eviction papers with the Courts.  This is called an “Unlawful Detainer” Complaint.  After the case is filed, the landlord will properly “serve” you with the Complaint and the Summons. If you receive a Summons and/or Complaint for Unlawful Detainer (eviction lawsuit), you have 5 calendar days to respond or landlord can ask for a default judgment and you will lose your chance to contest the eviction. Every day counts!  You should seek legal advice immediately. You will have 5 calendar days from the date you receive these papers to respond by filing your own “Answer” with the court.  Ballesteros Law can assist you during this stressful time. We know Landlord – Tenant Law and have high success in assisting with Unlawful Detainer Actions. 

What Happens If You Don’t Answer?

Your response to the Unlawful Detainer Complaint is called an “Answer.”  If you do not file an Answer within 5 calendar days, the landlord may take a default judgment against you.  This means that you will lose the case without the chance to go to court and tell your story to the Judge.  If a default is entered, the Sheriff will come out and post a “Notice to Vacate” on your door, giving you about 5 days to move out.  If you do not move out before the date given in the notice, the Sheriff will physically remove you and lock up your belongings in the premises.

What Happens If You Do Answer?

If you do file an Answer within the 5 calendar days, you will get a court hearing.

What Happens If You Lose at Trial?

If you lose the trial, the landlord can have the Sheriff serve you with a “Notice to Vacate” that will set a date to evict you, usually in about 5 days.  If you do not move out within the 5 days, the Sheriff will physically remove you and lock up the premises.  If your possessions are locked inside, you may have to pay storage costs (but not back rent) before your property is returned to you. 

This is general information on the law, which may change.  For specific legal problems, you should consult with a lawyer.

Seek Help from Ballesteros Law 

Ballesteros Law can help protect tenant rights under the law and helping tenants successfully defend their eviction case. Get legal help at a fair price contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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