My Tenant Filed a Motion to Strike in an Eviction Unlawful Detainer. Help!


David PiotrowskiThis blog entry will briefly describe what a motion to strike is, and it will provide an overview of what to do if your tenant files a motion to strike in an unlawful detainer eviction.

When a tenant files a motion to strike, it’s generally to attack a part of the landlord’s complaint. Filing a motion to strike is usually considered a “general appearance” as opposed to a “special appearance,” unless the tenant files the motion to strike and a motion to quash at the same time. A default judgment may still be possible if a tenant files a motion to strike, but fails to file an Answer or Demurrer within the required time frame. Some popular reasons why a tenant may file a motion to strike in an unlawful detainer eviction include:

  • Lack of or improper verification of the complaint by the landlord
  • Late filing of a pleading
  • Unauthorized filing of a pleading
  • If the complaint demands improper damages
  • If the complaint requests back rent, when the eviction is based on a 30/60/90 day termination notice that did not demand rent

A tenant must file a motion to strike within the time period required for a responsive pleading. Filing a motion to strike does not extend the time to file a demurrer. The motion to strike must specify what the tenant wants to be stricken.

If your tenant files a motion to strike in an eviction unlawful detainer case, it may be nothing more than a delay tactic. Tenants realize that you will need to respond to the motion to strike, and each day that the tenant remains in your house is lost income and more expense to you. Good legal counsel may be able to speed up the motion to strike, have the court hear and rule on it, and continue on with the rest of the eviction case.

If your tenant filed a motion to strike and you need help, contact us. We may be able to speed up the eviction process, or at least review your documents and provide you with an opinion on the case.

Read Attorney Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.

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