To begin the eviction process, the landlord must give the tenant an appropriate written notice. This may be a 3-day, 30-day, or 60-day notice, depending on the grounds for the evictions. A legal advisor should be contacted for assistance if there is any uncertainty as to whether the appropriate notice was given. If the tenant does 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.
After the landlord files the paperwork with the court, the tenant will be served with the summons and complaint. Once these documents have been served the tenant normally has only five calendar days, unless the 5th day falls on a weekend or court holiday; to file a response with the court. This may be an answer or other legal pleading. Forms are available at TurboCourt.com and at the California Courts Online Self Help Center or in Room 103 of the Courthouse in Woodland. The appropriate filing fee must be paid. If a party is unable to pay the filing fees, an application for waiver of court fees and costs may be filed.
When a response to the complaint is not filed
If the tenant fails to file a response to the complaint within the allotted time, the landlord may file with the court a request to enter default, a request for a clerk's judgment for possession, and request the issuance of a Writ of Possession. The landlord will then need to take the writ to the Yolo Sheriff's Department to complete the eviction.
When a response to the complaint is filed
A tenant should seek legal advice to determine the appropriate response to be filed with the court. If a tenant has limited income he may receive assistance from Legal Services of Northern California located at 619 North Street in Woodland. Tenants usually choose to file an answer to the complaint. When filing the answer, a proof of service on the landlord or the landlord's attorney must be attached to the answer.
After an answer has been filed, it is up to the landlord to file additional paperwork so a trial date can be set. The tenant will be notified of the trial date once it has been scheduled.