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Landlord Information

(Instructions to the Plaintiff)

Unlawful Detainers


Serving Notice to the Tenant(s)

Completing the Unlawful Detainer Paperwork

Filing the Forms

Serving the Documents

Filing the Proof of Service

If the Tenant(s) Fail to Respond

Right to a Court Trial

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Serving Notice to the Tenants

Before the landlord can bring court action to evict the tenant(s), the tenant(s) must have been properly (officially) served with a 3-day Notice to Quit or 30-day/60-day Notice to Terminate Tenancy, and failed to obey the notice.  Forms are available at any large stationery store or can be prepared by an attorney:

  • 3-day Notice to Quit (tenant is behind in the rent or has broken rental agreement)

  • 30-day Notice to Terminate Tenancy (tenant has not broken the lease and lived on the property under a year)

  • 60-day Notice to terminate Tenancy (tenant has not broken the lease and lived on the property over a year)

Completing the Unlawful Detainer Paperwork

You can go the Clerk's office at any of the locations within Kings County and Purchase a packet of the forms necessary to complete the Unlawful Detainer or you can click on www.courts.ca.gov to obtain the forms at no cost.

Filing the Forms

Submit Forms & Filing Fees to the Clerk:

  • Submit to the Clerk the original Civil Case Coversheet, Complaint, and Summons and the correct number of copies, (1) for you, and (1) for each defendant named.

  • The Clerk will stamp the case number on the blank Answer and Prejudgment forms (if serving) and return them to you for service on the defendant(s).

  • The Clerk will keep the original Coversheet, Summons, Complaint and will return the conformed copies to you.

  • You will then be asked to pay the Court's filing fee (which can be paid by cash or check). If you are unable to pay the filing fee you may complete a Request to Waive Court Fees (FW-001) and Order on Court Fee Waiver (FW-003) to see if you are eligible to have the filing fee waived.

Serving the Documents

Serve These Forms to the Defendant:

Have the Defendant(s) served with a "conformed" copy of each document you filed with the clerk and any required blank forms (with the exception of the Request for Court Waiver of Court Fees and Order on Court Fee Waiver, if you filed with the Court)

Note: These documents must be served by someone other than you, who is over 18, and is not a party to the action (e.g., neighbor, process server, sheriff, etc.)

* If you decide to serve a Prejudgment Right of Claim to Possession it must be served by a licensed process server or sheriff /per CCP 415.46

Have the Process Server Complete the "Proof of Service" Form:

The person who serves the documents must fill out and sign the Proof of Service form, listing every document that was served (including the blank forms).

  1. A separate Proof of Service for each Defendant must be submitted.

  2. If the Defendant is served by substitute service, a copy must also be mailed. A separate declaration of diligence is also required (i.e. three attempts at service on separate days at three different times).

Filing the Proof of Service

File the completed Proof of Service with the Court, and submit a copy to be conformed for your records.

If the Tenant(s) Fail to Respond

The tenant has five (5) days after being served with the Summons and Complaint to vacate (leave) the property or file an Answer with the court.  If substitute service is performed the tenant has ten days from the date of mailing to respond). (CCP  415.20(b))

If the tenant fails to respond, the plaintiff may request a default judgment.  There are two options for filing the default judgment:

1.      A Request for Clerk’s Judgment (possession of the premises only).

a.     Form CIV–100 - Request for Entry of Default and Clerk’s Judgment

b.     Form UD-110 – Judgment-Unlawful Detainer

c.      The benefit of a Clerk’s Judgment is that it will be processed immediately, allowing a writ for possession to be issued.  A Court Judgment may be (for monetary damages) submitted at a later date, if necessary.

2.      A Request for Court Judgment (possession of the premises as well as a monetary judgment):

a.     Form CIV-100 – Request for Entry of Default and Court Judgment

b.     Form UD-116– Declaration for Default Judgment by Court

c.      Form UD-110 – Judgment-Unlawful Detainer

d.  A Court Judgment will have to be submitted to a Judicial Officer for review and signature, before a writ can be issued.

Upon receiving judgment, the plaintiff may provide the following:

1.     Form EJ-130 – Writ of Possession Real Property

a.     This is for a nonmonetary request.

b.     The Sheriff’s Department will post a Notice to Vacate on the property (an additional fee is required by the Sheriff for this service).

c.     If the tenant fails to move out by the lockout date, the sheriff will take possession of the property.

d.     Click here for fee for issuance of writ.

2.     Form EJ-130 – Writ of Execution

a.     This is for a monetary request only.

b.      Click here for fee for issuance of writ.

Right to a Court Trial

Both parties have the right to a court trial, although there will be no trial if a timely written response to the unlawful detainer complaint is not filed.  To request a court trial, the requesting party must file an A Request for Trial (UD-150):

Upon receipt of your Request for Trial, the court will hold it for 5 days, allowing the other party to file their Counter Request for Trial.  The court will then set a date no more than 20 days from the original filing date of the Request for Trial.  Any unavailable dates must be listed on your Request for Trial or Counter Request for Trial.

You should start gathering all of the information that relates to your case. This may include witnesses or paperwork such as the following:

  • a copy of the lease or rental agreement,

  • any letters you may have written or received about the property,

  • any receipts you have

  • any inspection reports from the building inspector or health department,

  • photographs,

  • police reports,

  • any other documentation that you think will help you convince the Judge that the tenants should be evicted.

You will need to bring copies of each paper with you for the following: one for the Judicial Officer, one for each defendant and one for yourself.

Get your paperwork organized before you come to court so that you can easily find what you need when you are in the courtroom. You may want to make notes for yourself so that you don’t forget to tell the Judicial Officer something that you think is important.

Do not bring your children with you as children are not allowed in the courtroom.

Presenting your case in court

You should be aware of Rule of Court 104 prior to entering the Courtroom:

The Superior Court of California

County of Kings

Decorum Rules of Court – Rule 104

The dignity of the Court is to be respected and maintained at all times.

Court Security Officers are authorized to open and inspect any items carried into a courtroom such as packages, briefcases, suitcases, purses, boxes, duffel bags, shopping bags, backpacks or any other containers. Court Security Officers will have the right to confiscate all firearms, ammunition, knives, metal utensils, knitting needles, nail files, scissors or any item which could be considered a weapon.

Attire for Counsel and spectators should be conservative and appropriate to the dignity of the Court. Attire should not draw attention or lack professionalism. No shorts, tanktops, T-shirts, bare feet, hats, or sunglasses will be allowed. No person shall wear or possess on the premises of the Superior Court of the State of California, gang clothing or personal property with gang insignias, monikers, bandannas, jewelry, clothing or other personal property with any gang significance, or the display of gang colors. Profanities printed on clothing or clothing which advertises alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or illegal substances are not allowed.

When Court is in session, no one should be heard except for the Judge, Counsel and participants in the hearing. No person shall be permitted verbal or physical contact with a prisoner without the prior approval of the Court Security Officer. Any individual who disrupts the Court will be promptly asked to cease the disrupting conduct and/or will be removed from the courtroom. Counsel may address the Court when invited to do so. Only material related to the Court’s business may be read in the courtroom while Court is in session.

There shall be no use of profanities in the courtroom or adjacent areas.

Persons under the influence of drugs or intoxicating beverages will not be allowed into the courtroom or adjacent areas.

Doorways and passageways should be kept clear at all times and repeated entrances and departures are to be avoided.

Cellular telephones or audible pagers must be turned off while in the courtroom. Violations may result in the item(s) being confiscated.

The following items are prohibited in the courtroom and may be confiscated by the Court Security Officer:

1. Recording or photographic devices of any type including tape recorders, wireless microphones, digital, still or video cameras (unless a Court Order has been approved for such use under C.R.C. 1.150);

2. Beverages for the public (except for water provided to Counsel and other official personnel);

3. All food items (including snacks, gum and seeds); and

4. Chewing tobacco, cigarettes, pipes and cigars.

NOTE: This Rule does not apply to computers and other electronic devices necessary to accommodate individuals who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or the use of which has been approved by the Court under Local Rule 117.

Effective January 1, 2004

Rev. 7/2009


Superior Court of California, Kings County
All contents copyright (C) 2003, All rights reserved.