A Contested Eviction Service occurs when the Renter Files an Answer with the Court. The Law requires the trial to be set within 20 days.
However, some court will not allow a plaintiff to set a trial if unknown occupants are not in defaulted– or if some of the Renters have not filed an Answer or have not had default’s entered against them.
In this Phase, our team will prepare your case for trial. This may include the following:
Prepare and Serve Entry of Default (Unknowns)
Prepare Request for Trial
Draft Written Discovery (Form Interrogatories)
Respond to Written Discovery (Form Interrogatories)
Serve Request to Set Trial
Prepare Settlement Agreement or Stipulation
Prepare For Trial
Get all the information related to your case. If possible take your original documents, plus 3 copies of everything you take to court. This may include papers like:
The lease or rental agreement;
The notice served on the tenant;
Letters you wrote or received about the rental unit;
Photos that show damage to the unit, if applicable;
Photos that show unsafe or unhealthy conditions, if applicable; and
Building inspection reports, if applicable.
You may also bring witnesses who have personal knowledge of the facts. If a witness is important for you to prove your case, it is best to get a subpoena issued and served on the witness to make sure he or she comes to court. Even if the witness is willing to come to court, sometimes his or her work requires that a subpoena be served on the employee to allow time off to come to court.
Also, if some emergency prevents the witness from showing up in court, you may be able to get the trial continued if the witness was subpoenaed, but a continuance will generally not be granted if the witness was not. Only a lawyer or the court clerk can issue subpoenas, so get a pre-issued subpoena from the court if you do not have a lawyer.
Remember that if you do not speak English well, you may have the right to a court interpreter appointed by the court. Ask your court if they will provide an interpreter for you AS SOON AS possible. If your court does not provide interpreters in unlawful detainer cases, you will need to bring an adult who can interpret for you. Or hire your own interpreter. If you have to bring your own interpreter, it is very important you bring someone qualified because your rights are at stake.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, ask the court for a sign language interpreter. Courts must provide sign language interpreters, but it is important to request one at least 5 days in advance of the hearing, preferably as soon as you know your trial date. To do this, fill out and file a Request for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities and Response (Form MC-410).
Read Going to Court to find out how to prepare for your court hearing.
If you (the landlord) win: If the judge or jury decides you have the right to evict the tenant, the judge will give you a Judgment of Possession. The judge or jury may also order the tenant to pay back rent, damages, and costs, like filing fees and attorney fees (if this is in the rental agreement).
The Court Clerk will issue a Writ of Execution. The Sheriff will then post a notice informing the tenant to vacate the premises. This process can take 14 days.