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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Law Expert
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I received an Unlawful Detainer notice a few days ago

Customer Question

I received an Unlawful Detainer notice a few days ago for the apartment I am leasing (for non-payment of rent), but the 'date served' was not filled in on the form. I know I have 5 days to answer this notice, but my question is: is there any way to buy myself some time since the form they served me was not properly filled out? Also, they shoved the papers in my door instead of serving me personally. I am just trying to make sure I get the maximum amount of time possible since I know I will have very little time to address this after I answer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Michael Lykken, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed California attorney. Were you served with a complaint for unlawful detainer and a summons? I am not sure what you mean by an Unlawful Detainer notice. If you were not served with a complaint and a summons, then there is nothing to reply to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I received a Summons and Unlawful Detainer stuff in my apartment door a few days ago. The lawsuit is for non-payment of rent, and I was aware that I would be receiving it. My question is, on the CP-10.5 form that was covering the paperwork, there is a "Date of service" field and it is blank. The papers were not served to me personally but, as I said, stuffed into my door. Can I request that I be served properly, with a date filled in? The lawsuit has been filed and the court has sent me notice in the mail -- but since there is a 5-day mandatory answer time, but no 'official' date of service, is there anything I can do to delay this a little bit longer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm pretty unhappy at this point as I paid for an urgent response with high detail and I still have not received a proper response. I am going to ask for a refund if I don't hear back within the next half hour.
Expert:  Michael Lykken, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I apologize, I was in a meeting and just got out. The important document is the proof of service of the summons, not the CP-10.5. You need to see what the proof of service of the summons says. If it shows that you can were personally served, it's harder to contest the service. my guess is that it doesn't show that you were personal served.

Expert:  Michael Lykken, Esq replied 1 year ago.

As a follow-up you have two options to challenge the service. You can file a motion to quash the service of the summons, or you can not respond to the complaint. You have a short deadline to file the motion because it is an unlawful detainer action.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the justification to file a motion to quash the service of the summons? Also, have no proof of service of summons. I was given the summons and the unlawful detainer (and the CP 10.5), that's all. And when you say I have a short deadline to file the motion, how short do you mean? Also, if I don't respond to the complaint, won't I just get evicted?
Expert:  Michael Lykken, Esq replied 1 year ago.

The justification for a motion to quash would be that the complaint and summons was not properly served on you. If a summons isn't properly served, you don't have an obligation to respond because the court doesn't have personal jurisdiction over you. This, of course, has the danger that if the court doesn't agree you could lose the case. You could also file a demurrer, although a motion to quash would be more proper. Regardless, you have to file a motion within 5 days of service of the complaint. You should go to court to see the proof of service since it has to be filed in court. That could help you decide what to do. You will probably need an attorney if you want to file a motion to ensure that it is done properly.