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Is it possible to file a "motion to Quash" in response to an unlawful detainer which was served?

Century City, CA |

A UD Summons was served. I discovered the property never had a certificate of occupancy and a city inspector arrived to investage. So far no permits have been found since 1999. It was a garage which was coverted into a "rec room" according to the last permit in 1999. Their full report would be complete in 30days.

I understood Motion to Quash was only for irregular service. Can it also be used to claim the notification is illegal, therefore null and void and therefor the court has no jurisdiction?

Or would a Demurrer be the correct response.

It is understood once the city cites the owner a new eviction process would need to take place to correct the illegality issue, fines imposed on the owner and relocation assistance most be paid. I also understand a response is due with five court day

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Attorney answers 4


Without having reviewed the allegations of the complaint, it is hard to tell whether a motion to quash would work.

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. (Delta Imports Inc. v. Municipal Court (1983) 146 Cal. App. 3d 1033, 1035-36; Greener v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Bd. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1028, 1036.)

Most likely, the complaint does state a cause of action, and therefore, you will have to file a Motion for Summary Judgment since neither a demurrer nor a motion to quash can consider extrinsic evidence.

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, please consult with your own attorney.


A Motion to Quash would not be appropriate to raise the defenses you mentioned. You should have an attorney review all the specifics of your case to determine which responsive pleading would be most effective.

By posting on this site or answering/responding to questions does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended to be an opinion only. My opinion is not intended to be a guarantee or promise of any outcome or result in your matter.


The L.A. City Attorneys' Office offers a Free Dispute Resolution Program for landlord-tenant issues. Worth a try to save time and money, perhaps.

David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.


I agree with Mr. Chen. Please also note that you are not entitled to relocation assistance unless you fall under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The LARSO covers rental housing units within unincorporated Los Angeles. Telephone 1-866-557-7368 for more information on rental units covered by the RSO. Also note that if your dwelling does fall under LARSO, you would be entitled to attorney fees. As such, I am sure any attorney would be pleased to help you with your situation at no cost to you.