BEFORE A LEGAL ACTION IS FILED:
The landlord must begin the eviction process by giving you an appropriate written notice. If you are uncertain whether you have received the appropriate notice, you should obtain legal assistance. If you do not move out by the end of the period stated in the notice, the landlord can begin the legal process by filing a complaint with the court.
SERVICE OF COMPLAINT AND SUMMONS:
After paperwork is filed with the court, you will be served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint. If you are uncertain whether you have been properly serviced, you should contact a legal advisor. You normally will have only five calendar days to file an answer with the court and pay the appropriate fee. The answer forms are available at the EZLegal website or at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms. or at the Civil Division of the court. Our fee schedule can be also obtained on this web site.
ANSWER TO COMPLAINT:
If you fail to answer the complaint within the allotted time, the plaintiff (landlord) will obtain a default judgment and a writ will issue for possession of the premises. If you answer, the plaintiff will file a Request to Set Case for Trial and the court will mail you notice regarding the trial date.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIAL:
You should start gathering all the information that relates to your case, including witnesses and paperwork. You will need to bring three copies of each paper with you: one for the judge, one for the plaintiff and one for yourself.
Children are not allowed in the courtroom so do not bring them with you. The court does not provide interpreters for this type of case. If you need an interpreter to help you in court, you must bring one with you. The court also does not provide a Court Reporter and if you desire to have one present, you must make arrangements to hire one yourself.
During the trial, the bailiff will take any exhibits from you and give them to the judge. You will need to speak clearly and only when asked to do so. Be sure you speak to the judge, not to the other party. Do not argue with or interrupt the judge, the other party, or attorney. Each side will be given an opportunity to be heard. Try not to raise your voice but speak in a calm, clear way and do not engage in name-calling or make demeaning comments.
JUDGMENT AND WRIT OF EXECUTION:
If the court orders judgment against you, the plaintiff will prepare the Judgment – Unlawful Detainer for the court’s signature. The plaintiff will also have a Writ of Execution for Possession of Real Property issued by the clerk. This writ will be taken to the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department for service upon you and you will have five days to vacate the premises. If you do not move out during this period, the Sheriff will remove you from the property.
If you have any legal questions, you must contact an attorney or do your own research. Landlord and Tenant Clinics are held at California Rural Legal Assistance located at 511 D Street, Marysville, CA 95901, (530) 742-5191.