California Code of Civil Procedure section 438 allows a party to make a motion for judgment on the pleadings in an eviction case before the actual trial. CCP 438 also allows the court to make the motion on its own.
The plaintiff (landlord) can make a motion for judgment on the pleadings if:
- The complaint states a cause of action and the answer does not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense.
The defendant (tenant) can make a motion for judgment on the pleadings if:
- The court does not have subject matter jurisdiction, or
- The complaint does not state a cause of action
Landlords can sometimes obtain a judgment by this method instead of proceeding to a trial. This may reduce added cost, especially if the tenant has demanded a jury trial.
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