AFTER THE COURT’S DECISION QUESTIONS If the Court decides in favor of the tenant, the tenant will not have to move, and the landlord may be ordered to If you have any legal questions, you must contact an attorney or do you own research. The Orange County Defending an pay the tenant’s court costs (for example, filing fees) and the tenant’s attorney fees. However, the tenant will have Law Library is available to the public. Unlawful Detainer to pay any rent that the Court orders. If you have a question regarding the status of your case, please contact the Justice Center where the case is filed. Lawsuit Have your case number ready when you call. If the landlord wins, the tenant will have to move. In ALAN CARLSON addition, the Court may order the tenant to pay the All documents must be completed properly and CLERK OF THE COURT landlord’s court costs and attorney fees, and any proven accurately. Any documents needing correction will be damages, such as overdue rent or the cost of repairs if returned. You are responsible for providing copies. A self- damage was done to the premises. addressed stamped envelope is required for the return of WRIT OF POSSESSION your documents. If a judgment is entered against you and you do not move COURT FEES out, the Court will issue a Writ of Possession to the Make checks payable to Clerk of the Court. landlord. The landlord can deliver this legal document to Pursuant to the Government Code, the Superior Court the Sheriff, who will then forcibly evict you from the rental must charge for the various documents filed and issued. SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA unit if you don’t leave promptly. A current fee schedule is available at the Clerk’s Office or COUNTY OF ORANGE at www.occourts.org. Before evicting you, the Sheriff will serve you with a copy of the Writ of Possession. The Writ of Possession OTHER INFORMATION instructs you that you must move out within five days ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC LAW LIBRARY (714)834-3397 after the writ is served on you, and that if you do not 515 N. Flower, Santa Ana Central Justice Center move out, the Sheriff will remove you from the rental unit Building 32 (in the Civic Center Plaza) 700 Civic Center Drive West and place the landlord in possession of it. The cost of WWW.OC.CA.GOV/LAWLIB Santa Ana, Ca 92701 serving the Writ of Possession will be added to the other (657) 622-7513 FAIR HOUSING (800) 698-FAIR or (714)569-0823 costs of the suit that the landlord will collect from you. The Fair Housing Council is available to answer landlord-tenant FORMS questions, investigate discrimination allegations, and they have a Harbor Justice Center counselor available. Laguna Hills Facility The following forms are available on the Court’s Web-site at: www.occourts.org or at the Court Clerk’s Office. ORANGE COUNTY BAR LAWYER REFERRAL AND 23141 Moulton Parkway UD-105 Answer – Unlawful Detainer INFORMATION (949)440-6747 Laguna Hills, Ca 92653 POS-030 Proof of Service by First Class Mail (657) 622-8670 L-80 Fee Waiver Booklet O.C. APARTMENT ASSOCATION (714) 638-5550 UD-150 Request/Counter Request to Set Case for Trial-Unlawful Detainer. LEGAL AID SOCEITY OF ORANGE COUNTY(714)571-5200 North Justice Center www.legal-aid.com (800)834-5001 1275 N. Berkley Ave. Legal Aid is available to answer landlord-tenant questions Fullerton, Ca 92832 through its Hotline, provide community education at the weekly INTERPRETERS Landlord-Tenant Clinic, assist in preparation of pleadings, and (657) 622-6641 The court does not furnish interpreters for Civil matters. provide representation in certain cases to senior citizens and Parties must provide their own interpreter if one is very low income tenants. needed in court. West Justice Center 8141 13th Street This pamphlet is for general information only and is not a Westminster, Ca 92683 substitute for legal advice. (657) 622-8690 Special thanks to the Legal Aid Society of Orange County for their assistance in the development of this pamphlet. Form No. L1196 – Rev. March 2010 This information is intended as a procedural guide only. The landlord filed the eviction for an unlawful ADDITIONAL LEGAL RESPONSES You may wish to seek an attorney’s advice. discriminatory practice. Depending on the facts of your case, there are TIME TO RESPOND TO AN UNLAWFUL RETALIATORY ACTIONS AND EVICTIONS other legal responses to the landlord’s complaint DETAINER LAWSUIT that you might file instead of an answer. For A landlord may try to evict a tenant because the A unlawful detainer lawsuit is a “summary” court tenant has complained about a problem in the example: procedure. This means that the court action moves rental unit or exercised a legal right. The landlord If you believe that your landlord did not properly forward very quickly, and that the time given the serve the summons and the complaint, you cannot retaliate against you because you called the tenant to respond to the lawsuit is very short. In Health Department or any other government might file a Motion to Quash Service of most cases, the tenant has only five days, agency about the condition of your home; you Summons. including weekends, to file a written response exercised your rights to repair problems and If you believe that the complaint has some to the lawsuit after being served with a copy of deducted the cost from your rent, you organized technical defect or does not properly allege the the Unlawful Detainer complaint. If the fifth day to with other tenants or formed an tenants’ association landlord’s right to evict you, you might file a answer falls on a weekend or holiday, you can file or you did anything else you had a constitutional Demurrer. your answer on the following Monday or non- right to do such as complaining to your landlord Note: No forms are available for these types of responses. It holiday. about the condition of the rental unit. is important that you obtain advice from a lawyer before you attempt to use these types of responses. HOW TO RESPOND TO AN UNLAWFUL BREACH OF THE WARRANTY OF DETAINER LAWSUIT HABITABILITY APPEARING IN COURT Typically, a tenant responds to a landlord’s Under the law, the tenant does not have to pay full complaint by filing a legal document called an rent if: there are serious problems that affect a Before appearing in court, you must carefully Answer. You can get a copy of a form to use for tenant’s health and safety; the landlord knew about prepare your case. Among other things you should: filing an answer from the Court Clerk’s Office. Prior the problems; had time to fix them, but refused or Talk with a housing clinic; tenant organization; to filing an answer, a copy must be mailed to the failed to do so; and the tenant(s) did not cause the attorney; or legal aid organization. This will help plaintiff’s attorney or if no attorney, to the plaintiff. problem or refuse to allow repairs. you understand the legal issue in your case and Proof of Mailing must be filed at the same time as the evidence you will need. the answer. Once the answer has been filed either The law does not require the landlord to keep your party may request the case be set for trial by filing a rental unit in perfect condition, but the landlord must Decide how you will present the facts that “Request/Counter-Request to Set Case for Trial – provide these basic services: plumbing that works, support your side of the case, e.g., witnesses, Unlawful Detainer”. hot and cold running water and enough hot water to letters, other documents, photographs, video, or wash and bathe, heat, electricity and lights which other evidence. LEGAL DEFENSES work and are safe, window screens, sufficient Have at least four copies of all documents that You may have a legal defense to the landlord’s extermination to keep out roaches, fleas, bugs and you intend to use as evidence: an original for he complaint. If so, you must state the defense in your mice or rats, clean common areas free from trash judge, a copy for the opposing party, a copy for answer within the five-day period, or you will lose and debris, safe and secure stairways and railings, yourself, and copies for your witnesses. any defenses that you may have. Some typical roofs, walls and windows that do not leak and are defenses a tenant might have are: not broken, and adequate security. Ask witnesses to testify at trial if they will help The landlord’s three-day notice requested more your case. You can subpoena a witness who DISCRIMINATION rent than was actually due. will not testify voluntarily. A subpoena is an By trying to evict you, the landlord may be order from the court for a witness to appear. The landlord did not maintain the property in unlawfully discriminating against you or your family. The subpoena must be served (handed) to the condition fit to live (i.e. the landlord breached The law provides that the landlord may not witness, and can be served by anyone who is the implied warranty of habitability). discriminate against you or try to evict you simply over the age of 18. You can obtain a subpoena The landlord filed the eviction action against the because of your race or ethnic group, your religion, form from the Clerk’s Office. You must pay tenant for complaining about the condition of national origin or ancestry, your sex, your marital witness fees at the time the subpoena is served the rental unit or for exercising a right the tenant status, your physical or mental handicap, or your on the witness, if the witness requests them. has under the law. sexual orientation.
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