On a showing of good cause the court has the authority to grant a continuance if the trial date. You'll have to call the court and schedule an ex-parte hearing, submit a written application and pay a $40 filing fee, as well as advise the opposing party no later than 24 hours before the ex-parte hearing date/time. The courts do not grant continuances readily, so you should be prepared with some very compelling reason why you need a short continuance. Unlawful detainer cases are summary proceedings, meaning they are meant to be handled swiftly, to keep the landlord from losing too much money. So, don't hold your breath about getting the continuance.
Yes, but you should know that trial continuances in unlawful detainer actions are rarely granted. The court may grant a continuance only on an affirmative showing of "good cause" requiring the continuance, pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1332.
California law requires unlawful detainers to be acted upon quickly, which is why the have trial priority over other civil lawsuits.
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 posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with your own attorney.
Theoretically, the answer is yes. Practically, the answer is no. The Court will never give a tenant an extension on a court date because the landlord is entitled to have the unlawful detainer heard within 20 days of requesting a trial date.