Unlawful detainer (eviction) cases are relatively quick court proceedings in California. The only issues involved are the right to possession (who is entitled to possession of the property – the landlord or the tenant), and damages resulting from the unlawful detainer (for example, unpaid rent). Similarly, the only defenses available to a tenant involve defenses that might defeat the landlord’s right to possession. Tenants cannot file a cross-complaint in an unlawful detainer court procedure.
Questions relating to the legal title of the property are generally not part of an eviction case.
So long as a judgment does not include language settling all disputes arising out of the tenancy, all other damages arising from the tenancy are recoverable only through a separate court proceeding.
The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.
Read Attorney Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book.