When filing an unlawful detainer , or eviction, a landlord has the option to serve a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession to all unknown occupants. Many landlords do not that a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession is an effective to prevent delays from unknown occupants making claims that they are entitled to stay in the property after receiving notice from the Sheriff’s Department that a lockout will occur.
Delays often occur when occupants of a property who were not listed in the unlawful detainer complaint file a Claim of Right to Possession after they receive the 5 Day Notice from the Sheriff’s Department that a lockout will occur. I find this often happens because residents in a unit change and the unlawful detainer only lists named tenants from a rental agreement. If an occupant files a Claim of Right to Possession, the Sheriff cannot proceed with the lockout and a hearing in Court must be held to determine the rights of those occupants. Often times even if an occupant does not lawfully have a a claim, the occupant may still bring the Claim in order to delay the eviction.
A landlord can serve a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession to all unknown occupants at the time a tenant is served with the Summons and Complaint. A Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession is served with the Summons and Complaint. However, it is important to note that any only a Marshall, the Sheriff, or registered process server can serve a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession. After a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession is served, an occupant has ten days to file a response.
Using a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession prevents occupants from stalling out the eviction process at the last minute. Unknown occupants are forced to file their claims with the court within 10 days of being served the summons and complaint or else the court will enter judgment for possession on all occupants and the sheriff will remove all individuals found on property at the time of the moveout. Once default is entered for unknown occupants, they will be included in the judgment and Writ of Possession, and the Sheriff will evict all people inside a unit.
As part of evictions that I handle for clients, I always include a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession. Please call Anthony at 818-839-5220 for more information or to begin your eviction.