Note: There are two steps to an eviction in California, and always in this order:
Proper, legal, writtennotice; and …
Unlawful Detainer (“Eviction”) Lawsuit
3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit
Tenant Pays Rent or Cures Violation of Rental Agreement
Tenant Does Not Pay Rent or Cure Violation of Rental Agreement
30 or 60-Day Notice Terminating Tenancy
Landlord Files Summons & Complaint for Unlawful Detainer at Court and Serves Tenant
IMPORTANT: Tenant has only FIVE CALENDAR DAYS–including weekends – to respond to the lawsuit.
Preliminary Motions (Demurrer, Motion to Strike, Motion to Quash)
No Response Filed
File Answer, Jury Demand, and Discovery
8-13 days, except in San Francisco, usually Wed. or Thurs. 2 weeks after Answer.
Default Judgment (Tenant Loses)
Motion to Vacate
Stay of Eviction
At Least 5 Days. In San Francisco, Sheriff’s eviction set for 2-3 weeks after judgment and on a Wednesday.
In San Francisco, courts will often grant a 1 week stay and possibly additional stays, with each additional stay progressively less likely to be granted.
30 or 60 Days
Mandatory Settlement Conference
7 days, except in San Francisco, usually the following Mon. but sometimes have to wait for a courtroom.
Tenant Stays in PossessionTenant Must Pay All Back Rent (at rate determined by jury if defense is habitability)Tenant Recovers Cost of SuitTenant Recovers Attorney Fees If Provided in Rental Agreement.