How to Appeal an Unlawful Detainer Judgment Against You in California

The California Code of Civil Procedure for Unlawful Detainer codifies the state's eviction process. Landlords can file an unlawful detainer motion against tenants who wrongfully extend their tenancies by refusing to move when their tenancies end. Landlords can also file an unlawful detainer action against tenants who fail to pay rent or damage property. California courts can grant a landlord's unlawful detainer motion after a hearing. Tenants can appeal an unlawful detainer judgment entered against them by filing a stay of execution and appeal in accordance with Section 1176(a) of the California Code of Civil Procedure for Unlawful Detainer. The stay of execution is the appellate process for evictions.

Step 1

Obtain a Petition for Stay of Enforcement, also known as a Petition for Stay of Execution Pending Appeal, from your local California Superior Court.

Step 2

File your Petition for Stay of Execution Pending Appeal. Since you had five days to respond to your landlord's original unlawful detainer complaint, you had an opportunity to contest your eviction when your landlord initially filed a motion to evict you. If you choose not to move, you must contest your landlord's judgment by staying it.

Step 3

State your reason for the petition. Under California law, you must show that you will suffer extreme financial hardship, and you must also prove that your landlord will not suffer extreme financial hardship by allowing you to continue renting from him.

Step 4

Request the name of the judicial officer who will hear your case from the court clerk's office. Typically, the court will grant or deny a stay without a hearing, based on your paperwork.

Step 5

Direct your Petition for Stay of Enforcement or Petition for Stay of Execution Pending Appeal to the judicial officer assigned to your case.

Step 6

Pay filing fees to the court clerk to file your motion and for service of process. Filing fees vary by county.

Step 7

Pay your monthly rent to the court before your rent is due each month if the court grants your request to stay the eviction.

Step 8

File an Application and Petition From Forfeiture of Lease. You can request that a court reinstate your original lease.

Tip

Provide proof that you will suffer extreme economic hardship if you have to move. You can submit bank statements or other proof of income. You should also provide specific examples of why you believe your landlord will not suffer economic hardship by allowing you to stay. You must show that you will be financially able to pay rent if the court grants your request to stay the eviction judgment.

Warning

If you do not request a stay, your landlord can obtain a judicial Writ of Possession. The writ allows your landlord to seek law enforcement's assistance to forcefully evict you.

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