Court Updates Unlawful Detainer Filing Procedures
Eviction Complaints Follow New Processing Rules
Increase in unlawful detainer case filings prompts roll back of pandemic processing procedures.
Hayward, Calif. – June 5, 2023 - The ongoing expiration of eviction moratoriums in jurisdictions throughout Alameda County has triggered changes in how the Superior Court of Alameda County will process unlawful detainer cases.
Beginning today, all unlawful detainer cases will be handled as they were prior to the pandemic, eliminating a multi-step filing process that required litigants to file a sworn declaration and a proposed order along with their complaints.
The new process also eliminates a Court review of documents before a summons is issued and a mandatory case management conference once a complaint is filed. Instead, summons will be issued as soon as a complaint is filed, and settlement conferences and trial dates will be scheduled after a case is ready to go to trial.
“These changes are being made to prevent the Court from having an unmanageable backlog of cases,” said Presiding Judge Charles Smiley. “With eviction moratoriums sunsetting throughout Alameda County, it’s time for the court to reinstate our pre-pandemic practices and make sure our hardworking clerks and judges can do their jobs efficiently and effectively.”
The Court expects a large increase in the number of unlawful detainers filed as moratoriums in San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley expire this summer. In just one month after Alameda County ended its moratorium, more than 500 unlawful detainers were filed, a more than 600% increase from the month before.
The processing change being made today reflects the need to begin handling unlawful detainer cases as the Court has in the past, allowing for quicker processing and resolution by settlement or trial. Procedures put in place at the height of the pandemic slowed the process to ensure only the cases allowed under city and county moratoriums proceeded.
Despite these changes, unlawful detainer cases filed for properties in San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley must continue to abide by the moratorium restrictions enacted by those jurisdictions. Moratoriums in all three cities are currently scheduled to expire this summer.
For more information about unlawful detainers, please visit our website at: https://selfhelp.courts.ca.gov/eviction