Cross-complaints are not allowed in California unlawful detainer (eviction) cases. A tenant’s defenses to an unlawful detainer case are limited. This is because unlawful detainer eviction cases are summary proceedings in California and are meant to progress much faster than other types of court cases. If a tenant has affirmative claims against their landlord that cannot be addressed in the eviction case, the tenant would need to file a separate lawsuit against the landlord.
Normally, the two cases would continue separately; however, a court might be willing to consolidate the cases if both cases involve the same or similar issues.
An exception to this rule is that if the tenant has already vacated the property and possession is no longer an issue, the unlawful detainer case is converted to a different type of civil case and the tenant can file a cross-complaint. It is also important to note that once possession is no longer an issue, the case will likely take much longer to resolve.
Need help with evicting a tenant in Los Angeles? Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski for assistance.
The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.
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