Unlawful Detainer Procedure

    The following outlines the basic time frame and procedures involved in an eviction.  Please understand that each case is different but I think the information noted below will give you a good idea of the process.

    1.  Once the Complaint for Unlawful Detainer is filed my process server will try and serve the tenant as soon as possible. Tenants generally know they are being evicted and will often try and avoid service.  If a tenant cannot be served within 7-10 days I can request a court order allowing the Complaint to be posted on the premises.  It generally takes 5-7 days to obtain the court order and the court charges a fee of $20.00 for requesting a posting order.

    2.  Once the tenant is served, the tenant has 5 court days to file a response.  The time is extended to 15 days if the tenant is served by leaving the papers with someone else or if the service is made by posting as noted above.

    3.  If the tenant does not file a response, I can request a clerk’s judgment for possession.  This will result in a Judgment for Possession and issuance of a Writ of Possession directing the sheriff to evict the tenant.  It takes 2-3 days to obtain the appropriate papers from the court clerk.  Once I obtain the Writ of Possession, I have a courier deliver it to the sheriff.  Writs must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday in order for an eviction to take place on the following Wednesday; in Butte County, evictions are only done on Wednesdays.  If the tenant does not file a response, the entire process generally takes 25-30 days depending on the time needed to obtain service on the tenant, the method of service and getting the papers to the sheriff by that office’s deadline.

    4.  If the tenant files a response (Answer), I will immediately request a court date.  By law, the trial must be held within 21 days of the request.  Once the trial is complete, the process is the same as outlined in paragraph 3 above.   If the tenant does file a response, the entire process generally takes 30-45 days depending on the time needed to obtain service on the tenant, the method of service and getting the papers to the sheriff by that office’s deadline.

    5.  When I send the papers to the sheriff for the eviction I will send you a copy of the transmittal letter as well as a letter similar to this one that outlines the procedures for the eviction itself.

    Please feel free to call me if you have any questions regarding the above.