If the summons or service is defective, the tenant or the tenant’s attorney may file a motion to quash service of the summons based on the court’s lack of jurisdiction over the tenant.
A tenant should only bring a motion to quash the unlawful detainer summons if there are legitimate, valid reasons to do so. Like other legal options, a motion to quash in an unlawful detainer case should not be made as a delay tactic.
The majority of unlawful detainer motions to quash are brought on the following grounds:
- Defective service of summons. A motion to quash in an unlawful detainer should be granted when the service of process failed to comply with statutory requirements.
- Defective complaint. A motion to quash may be proper in an eviction case if the complaint does not state a cause of action for unlawful detainer. An eviction complaint that fails to allege any element essential to an unlawful detainer action is vulnerable to a motion to quash.