Eviction/Unlawful Detainer

Overview of the eviction process

If the tenant does not voluntarily move out after the landlord has properly given the required notice to the tenant, the landlord can evict the tenant. In order to evict the tenant, the landlord must file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in superior court.  In an eviction lawsuit, the landlord is called the “plaintiff” and the tenant is called the “defendant.” It is imperative a landlord file the paperwork and serve the documents perfectly, or they risk having to re-file.  A lawyer at the Law Offices of Danielle E. Grabois can take on your matter to avoid these issues.

An unlawful detainer lawsuit is a “summary” court procedure. This means that the court action moves forward very quickly, and that the time given the tenant to respond during the lawsuit is very short. For example, in most cases, the tenant has only five days to file a written response to the lawsuit after being served with a copy of the landlord’s summons and complaint. Normally, a judge will hear and decide the case within 20 days after the tenant or the landlord files a request to set the case for trial.

If the landlord uses unlawful methods to evict a tenant, the landlord may be subject to liability for the tenant’s damages, as well as penalties of up to $100 per day for the time that the landlord used the unlawful methods.

In an unlawful detainer lawsuit, the court holds a hearing at which the parties can present their evidence and explain their case. If the court finds that the tenant has a good defense, the court will not evict the tenant. If the court decides in favor of the tenant, the tenant will not have to move, and the landlord may be ordered to pay court costs (for example, the tenant’s filing fees). The landlord also may have to pay the tenant’s attorney’s fees, if the rental agreement contains an attorney’s fee clause and if the tenant was represented by an attorney.

If the court decides in favor of the landlord, the court will issue a writ of possession to get the residence back. An attorney at the Law Offices of Danielle E. Grabois can help you get this writ issued; as well as properly serve the tenants, in order to avoid re-starting the eviction process due to  improper service.    If you are a tenant, the judgment against the tenant will be reported on the tenant’s credit report seven years.  Hiring an attorney at the Law Offices can help you seal your record, and not allow this to affect your credit and avoid future hassle with future rental properties.  An attorney can also allow for you to stay longer in your apartment, and negotiate necessities on your behalf, with a better outcome.

Let an attorney at the Law Offices of Danielle E. Grabois file or defend your lawsuit.  To avoid hassle and extra fees.


There are some defenses that can be taken to fight your eviction.  A lawyer at the Law Offices of Danielle E. Grabois can discuss these with you upon an initial free consultation.

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