I am the defendant and its presently day 31 since the complaint was filed. An Answer was filed 11 days ago but the plaintiff has not yet requested a trial or to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs counsel will not speak with me on the matter or detail if their is intention to go to trial. I am concerned that by the time this matter will get to trial the 60 days of the temporary seal will have elapsed. I know that after the 60th day the matter will become public record and I do not wish to have this available until the matter has been concluded with either a settlement, judgement or preferably a dismissal.
Is it possible for me to file a motion to continue the seal for an additional 30 days due to adjudication? Should I move ahead of the plaintiff and set case for trial with form UD-150?
No, there is no procedure for extending the 60 day period under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1161.2 in which an unlawful detainer action is "masked" from public records.
Also, it is the plaintiff not the defendant who files the Request to Set Case for Trial. As a defendant, you can only file a Counter-Request after the plaintiff files it.
If you are confident of prevailing within the 60 days, you should just file a motion for summary judgment. In connection with summary judgment motions in unlawful detainer actions, California Code of Civil Procedure § 1170.7 provides as follows:
"A motion for summary judgment may be made at any time after the answer is filed upon giving five days notice. Summary judgment shall be granted or denied on the same basis as a motion under Section 437c." (emphasis added.)
The five day notice requirement is significantly different from the 75 day notice requirement for summary judgment motions in other civil litigation cases.
Code of Civil Procedure § 437(c) authorizes the Court to grant summary judgment when the moving party has established that there is no triable issue of material fact and is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Specifically, Code of Civil Procedure § 437(c) provides as follows:
"The motion for summary judgment shall be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law."
However, the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure § 437c (a) and § 437c (b) concerning the time for making and hearing the motion do not apply to unlawful detainer actions, nor does the requirement of a separate statement supporting or opposing the motion. (See Code of Civil Procedure § 437c (b) and § 437c (r).)
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
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In the South Bay, which includes Lawndale, it is very common to have the file sealed as part of a settlement. It also very strange for a U.D. to be delayed, as the landlord wants the property back and the Court has expedited rules that require the cases to be processed quickly.You may want to go to the Court to check the file to see if there is an O.S.C set to dismiss for failure to obtain judgment within the time limits set forth in the Los Angeles Rules of Court.
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