Residential Eviction  - Tenants and Landlords - Mediation & Litigation Process

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It is essential to know and understand the rules and regulations outlined in "California Civil Code Section 1946.2" before terminating a lease agreement in California.  Keep in mind that as a landlord, you must follow the California eviction process correctly, and as a tenant, you should respond to a summons promptly.  So, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the California eviction process to avoid any legal complications.

Our Fees - Negotiable

Defaulting renter with facemask receives letter giving notice of eviction from home on wooden table


TENANTS-  $350.00

Completion of:

  • The court forms completion to answer the Summons,   
  • Court cost waiver forms completion.    
  • Court filings, process serving, POS & court filing.    
  • Court day case preparation (exhibits gathering, emails, phone calls, texts, etc).

     LANDLORDS  -  $650.00 per step

Completion of 1er. Step: Summons/Complaint

  • Pay or Vacate Notice, Proof of service, and serve it.
  • Completion of the required court forms.
  • Court cost waiver forms completion per plaintiff.
  • Court filings and registered process serving, POS & court filing.
  • If the Tenant answers the Complaint, the landlord has to request a Court Day and mail it to the defendant (s).
  • Court's day case preparation (exhibits gathering, emails, phone calls, texts, etc).

Completion of 2nd. Step: Default Judgment

  • The tenant does not answer the Summons. Ask the judge to decide the case
  • Completion of the required court forms for a Writ of Possession.
  • Court cost waiver forms completion per plaintiff.
  • Mailing cost, face-to-face or electronic filing cost,
  • Sheriff preparation forms to get a Notice to Vacate.


Tell the court you agree with the other side to negotiate your eviction case.  If the parties agree and comply with the terms of the stipulation, ask the judge to approve it, and if both parties comply with the terms of the agreement, the case will be dismissed.  Otherwise, a judgment will be entered according to what is stated in the stipulation.

Court's form completion and letter to party.


  • Court fees are the responsibility of the client.
  • Registered Processer Service or Sheriff Services fees are the client's responsibility.
  • The cost of copies required by the Sheriff is the responsibility of the client.

The Eviction Process in California    - STEP-BY-STEP-

The Eviction Process in California - Updated Court Links-

 Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession (CP10.5).     Very important form. Why?   

Given by a landlord to a person they’re trying to evict when they don’t know their name. It gives the person a chance to add themselves to the eviction court case at the beginning to say why they shouldn’t be evicted.  Read more about it - OC Court Site-

The tenant moves out before the case is over - What to do?

If you (the landlord) have already filed the unlawful detainer papers at court, and the tenant moves out before the trial you have 2 choices:

  • Dismiss the case, or
  • Ask the court to convert the case to a regular civil case for damages to collect back rent in the amount requested in the unlawful detainer complaint.

To request a dismissal of the case, file a Request for Dismissal (Form CIV-110). If you do not dismiss the case or ask that it be changed to a regular civil case for damages, the tenant may go the trial and ask the court to dismiss the case because he or she has already moved out. if the tenant wins, he or she may get an award for having to come to court for the trial when the case should have been converted to a regular civil case or dismissed.

For more information about it. 

- The California Eviction Law  -

                                                                                    Right to Fair Price for Utility Services
Under California law, landlords are not allowed to profit from providing utility services, meaning that landlords are only allowed to cover their costs when billing for utility services. Thus, a landlord is only allowed to charge the same amount as the utility company when billing for services plus a small fee for creating the tenant's invoice and managing their utility account. When a landlord decided to charge a small fee for managing the tenant's utility account, they cannot charge the tenant more than what it reasonably costs the utility company to handle account services.

                                                Your  Right to Repair and Deduct after the 30th day- the following notice.

Under California Law, the landlord must keep your rental unit livable so as not to endanger your health and safety.   If your unit needs repairs, notify your landlord in writing and keep a copy for your records.

Landlords’ responsibilities
Landlords have obligations to the tenants. The law requires landlords to keep the premises safe and in good condition and to:

Fix water leaks from the roof, doors, windows, or walls.
Repair plumbing, gas, heating, and electrical problems.
Keep the grounds outside your unit clean, safe, and free of pests such as mice and roaches.
Supply enough trash bins.

Tenants’ responsibilities
You must keep the unit clean and free of trash.  You must use gas, electric, and plumbing fixtures correctly. You must also prevent guests from damaging your unit.

Read more about your rights under California Law.


(Civil Code § 1950.5(f))

More extensive information about this law

A tenant can ask the landlord to inspect the rental unit before the tenancy ends.  During this “initial inspection,” the landlord or the landlord’s agent identifies defects or conditions that justify deductions from the tenant’s security deposit.

This gives the tenant the opportunity to do the identified cleaning or repairs to avoid deductions from the security deposit. The tenant has the right to be present during the inspection. 

DO IT!  It can strengthen your small claims and it can protect your security deposit.   Super important to read, print, and use the MOVING IN/ OUT  form below.                                     

The AB 2330 Walk-Through Process as of January 1, 2003

The importance of the Pre-move, the move-IN, and move-OUT inspections.

These inspections are meant to benefit both the landlord and the tenant. The tenant can benefit because if the landlord doesn't find significant damages, they can get their security deposit back in full.

If the pre-move-out inspection is requested by the tenant, the landlord must inspect the premises during the final two weeks of the tenant's occupancy. If an inspection is requested, the landlord and tenant must attempt to schedule the inspection at a mutually acceptable date and time. For more information.

Why Mediation is so Important in Eviction Cases ?

In mediation, instead of having the judge or jury make a decision, everyone works together to reach an agreement.  It can happen before an eviction case is filed in court, during the eviction process, or on the court's day

Mediation is a meeting between the landlord, his/her lawyer, the tenant(s), and a neutral person from the court called a mediator. The purpose of mediation is to give the landlord and tenant a chance to resolve the eviction case without going in front of a judge.

If both parties reach an agreement at mediation, the mediator will write it up as a court order called a stipulation (or stipulated judgment) and the judge will sign it.  Both parties have to honor it and follow what is written, as it is a Court order.

But what happens If the parties fail to reach an agreement during mediation?  they can still go to court for a judge or jury to decide the case.   

ALERT.  Be sure that all are covered in mutual agreement.  If you need a certified Interpreter, ask the Court for one. It is your right to understand the process 100%.

Payments agreement - A detailed Schedule of payments.

Time to move out: Agreement more time to move out, or agree to move sooner in exchange for not paying rent.

Waiting for rental assistance money:  you can ask the mediator to reschedule the mediation for another date so you have the chance to get the rental assistance in place. ( Proof is required).

Note: You may be able to negotiate terms in the agreement for things you want, like certain repairs to your apartment or that the landlord removes late fees.

Mediation Fails! Now What?   The Judge or a Jury will decide the case


Once you know your trial date, it’s important to get ready.   Please go to the Court Site to know, in detail, how to get ready for your Court Day.   Be organized so you can answer the judge’s or other side’s questions as quickly as possible. When you’re in the courtroom, the process goes very fast.


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).





1.   Ask the Judge for more time to move out -   

Ex Parte Stay of Execution

If you lose your eviction case, you need to move out (at the latest) 5 days after the sheriff posts a Notice to Vacate on your door. If you need more time to move, you can ask the court for a stay of execution. You will need to show the court that you have a good reason for needing more time.

 SOS Ayuda Legal can assist you, per your request, in creating a Stay of Execution to be submitted to the judge. For A Stay of Execution. information, go to the Court site for more information

           If you need our assistance please, contact us.

2.   Can I Vacate (“Cancel”) the Judgment Against Me

Motion to Set Aside a Judgment

You must show that something beyond your control prevented you from filing a timely Answer to the  Summons and Complaint or something beyond your control prevented you from attending your trial. You must meet one of the following legal requirements to set aside a default and vacate a Judgment,

 SOS Ayuda Legal can assist you, per your request, in creating a Motion to Set Aside to be submitted to the judge.

          If you need our assistance please, contact us

(949) 326- 6612

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600 W Santa Ana Blvd, Suite 206,    Santa Ana, CA 92701

Across from The USCIS Federal Building 

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Saturday - Pre-Pay Appointment ONLY

Sunday: Closed


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