California Eviction Process Overview

The following provides a high-level overview of the California eviction process. Generally, landlords who hire the Law Office of David Piotrowski to represent their interests in an eviction matter can expect 6 stages of an eviction. Landlords who have an ongoing, pending eviction matter can refer back to this page frequently for a reminder of the process and to compare it to the stages of their individual case.

California Eviction Process Overview

Case Review

We review your paperwork and communicate with you, our client, about your case.

Notice Period

This is when we create the notice that terminates the tenancy (3 day notice, 30 day notice, 60 day notice, etc.). Our process server will serve your tenant, and then we wait to see whether or not the tenant complies with the notice. During this stage, landlords should not do anything that could be considered a waiver of the notice.

Case Filed and Ongoing

If your tenant fails to comply with the termination notice, then we will prepare and file your eviction case at court. The process server will then serve your tenant with the actual court documents. Then, we wait to see whether or not your tenant disputes the eviction. Regardless of whether the tenant responds to and fights the case or not, our goal is to try to obtain a judgment for possession of the rental property.

Sheriff Lockout Process

Assuming a judgment is obtained awarding possession of the property to the landlord, it is now time to begin the sheriff lockout process. We will work to obtain the necessary paperwork needed from the court and will then submit the documents to the sheriff for processing. The sheriff will schedule a lockout date. We will notify you when to meet the sheriff at the property. The lockout date will be the day when the landlord regains actual possession of the rental property and the tenant will have no right to be there anymore.

Money Judgment and Collections

In this optional step, we may be able to assist with obtaining a money judgment against the tenant. If a money judgment is obtained, and on a case-by-case basis, we may be able to help trying to collect the money from the tenant. The chances of this being successful will depend in part on whether the tenant works/banks in the same county where the case was filed, and if you know where the tenant works and their bank account information.

Case Completed

Once you have regained possession of your rental property, the eviction case is complete!

The following infographic providing an overview of the California eviction process.

California eviction process overview.

Additional Information


The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action.

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This article is courtesy of the Law Office of David Piotrowski, a California law firm representing landlords with eviction matters.

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The Law Office of David Piotrowski

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