Prima Facie Elements for bringing unlawful detainer?

Asked over 2 years ago - El Monte, CA

What are the prima facie elements for a landlord to bring an unlawful detainer acition? Something like, that Plaintiff has authority to bring the suit, that Defendant was served with a Notice to Vacate, that Defendant still resides at the property, etc - right?? Citations would be helpful. Thanks.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If you are the plaintiff, unless this is a post foreclosure eviction, you should be using the Judicial Council form complaint for unlawful detainer.

    The elements of unlawful detainer when a defendant has defaulted in the payment of rent are: 1) that the defendant was served with a three-day written notice to pay rent or quit, 2) the amount of rent due, 3) the non-payment within such period, and 4) the continued possession of the premises without permission. (California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1161(2), 1166. )

    In California, the manner of attacking a complaint that fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action for unlawful detainer is by motion to quash and not by general demurrer. (Delta Imports Inc. v. Municipal Court (1983) 146 Cal. App. 3d 1033, 1035-36.)

    Even though California Code of Civil Procedure § 1170 indicates that a defendant in an unlawful detainer action may "answer or demur," the courts have held that the "only" acceptable procedure to test whether a complaint states a cause of action supporting a five day summons is a motion to quash. (Id. at 1036; Greener v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Bd. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1028, 1036.)

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  2. Kevin Samuel Sullivan


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It depends on what type of UD you are bringing. You should look at the CACI jury instructions for the elements of your case. Hire a lawyer to assist you. Good luck.

Related Topics

Landlord-tenant law

Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state laws, and covers issues like security deposit limits and deadlines, evictions, and the right to withhold rent.

Eviction from rental property

Before a landlord can start eviction proceedings, he or she must follow specific rules (that vary by state) for giving a termination notice to the tenant.

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