CCP 1179a (aka California Code of Civil Procedure section 1179a) gives priority to eviction cases (formally known as a court case called an “Unlawful Detainer”) because of the importance of allowing property owners to regain possession of their property in a summary fashion.
CCP 1179a reads:
In all proceedings brought to recover the possession of real property pursuant to the provisions of this chapter all courts, wherein such actions are or may hereafter be pending, shall give such actions precedence over all other civil actions therein, except actions to which special precedence is given by law, in the matter of the setting the same for hearing or trial, and in hearing the same, to the end that all such actions shall be quickly heard and determined.
Because unlawful detainer cases receive priority under CCP 1179a, the time to take certain steps are much more abbreviated compared to other non-priority cases. For example, the time to respond to a summons/complaint in a non-priority case is 30 days, while the time to respond to an unlawful detainer case is only 5 days if the tenant is served personally. Additionally, unlawful detainer cases are limited in nature to possession of the property and related issues such as past-due rent. Other disputes would need to be raised in a separate lawsuit and would not receive priority.
Because of the summary nature of unlawful detainer eviction cases under CCP 1179a, the courts are supposed to schedule a trial in an unlawful detainer case not more than 20 days after the request for trial setting is filed (CCP 1170.5(a)). In reality, though, especially in many Los Angeles county courts, the court will schedule a trial for longer than 20 days after the trial settling request is submitted due to backlogs. (For example, just recently, it took the Lancaster court over 30 days for the trial date from the time the trial request was submitted.)
The Law Office of David Piotrowski can assist landlords with unlawful detainer eviction cases. We work hard to make your case proceed as quickly as possible.
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