Yes, a tenant can appeal an unlawful detainer judgment, but generally speaking the chances of winning on appeal are pretty small.
it is not clear from your post why the court denied your motion to set aside the default and vacate default judgment. Regardless, filing an appeal does not stay (stop) the eviction, so the landlord can still proceed with instructing the sheriff to serve the writ of possession and notice to vacate.
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 for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Like Mr. Chen, I am confused. What did the attorney try to serve by certified mail? A summons and complaint cannot be served by mail, certified or not. If that was the only service, you should be able to set aside the default.
On the other hand, service of a 30- or 60-day notice by certified mail is acceptable. That the tenant never actually picked it up at the post office is not relevant.
Your appeal will not stop your eviction unless the court orders a stay. You would have to make a strong showing that your eviction would cause you injury beyond that most people suffer upon eviction. If you want to obtain a stay, I would consult an attorney.