Paralegal Essentials – Landlord Tenant Law (Part 4)

ANSWERING THE UNLAWFUL DETAINER COMPLAINT

Most tenants who are being evicted do not have money to hire an attorney, so many defendants file their  Unlawful Detainer Answer in pro per or with the assistance of an Unlawful Detainer Assistant.  The following are some things to consider for the preparation of an Answer in an Unlawful Detainer matter:

  • The Answer must be filed within 5 days of the date of service.  If the sixth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or court holiday, the Answer is due the following Monday or the next court business day.
  • A copy of the Answer must be served on the plaintiff or his/her attorney if they have one.
  • The Answer must be verified.
  • All material allegations not admitted must be effectively denied.
  • Be sure to allege all relevant affirmative defenses.
  • Be sure to pay the filing fee or apply for a waiver of the filing fee.    See Information on Fee Waivers

For additional information, visit the Unlawful Detainer Self-help link on the Los Angeles Superior Court web site.


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