Thank you for contacting Stay Housed LA. We are receiving far more requests for legal services than we can assist. Below are some things you can do to help yourself with your eviction case.
IMPORTANT - Evictions have very fast deadlines.
If you miss the deadline, you can be evicted.
If you receive an eviction lawsuit (called an Unlawful Detainer - Summons and Complaint), YOU ONLY HAVE FIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS TO FILE YOUR RESPONSE WITH THE COURT. The response is called an Answer. If you do not file your Answer on time, your landlord may automatically win the eviction lawsuit against you without a trial.
DO YOU NEED TO FILE AN ANSWER TO AN EVICTION?
1. Go in-person to the Self-Help Center inside one of the courthouses listed below for help to file your Answer. Staff in the Self-Help Center can give you the Answer paperwork and tell you how to file it. They may help you complete it.
Visit https://dcba.lacounty.gov/legal-access-centers/ for Self-Help Center hours and addresses.
2. Complete your Answer online at this website: https://tools.debtcollective.org/.
The website will help you fill out the Answer paperwork. When you are done, the website will file your Answer with the court if you are low income and qualify for a court “fee waiver.”
The people who made this website are not part of Stay Housed LA. We cannot guarantee that this answer tool will work or make any claims as to the quality of services. Here is what the people who created this Answer tool say:
“This Tool is being provided as a free public service and we have done our best to ensure that it works for all users as they intend. However, we cannot guarantee that the documents this Tool generates and that we may attempt to file electronically on your behalf will be accepted by the Court before the deadline for filing (5 business days after service of the Summons and the Complaint-Unlawful Detainer). If your documents are not accepted by the Court as timely filed, you are at risk of losing your case by default. By using this Tool, you agree to assume the risk that your documents will not be timely filed or accepted. If you do not want to accept that risk, you can print out the documents and file them with the Court in person at the courthouse identified in the Summons and Complaint before the courthouse closes on the 5th business day after you were served with the Summons and Complaint.”
Remember, you have only 5 business days to file your Answer. Day 1 starts the day after you are served the eviction lawsuit. Do not count weekends and court holidays. If you don’t file the Answer by day 5 the landlord may file a “default” which means you lost the case. It is very difficult to get the court to cancel or set aside a default.
Do you need help understanding the Eviction Trial process?
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles holds an Eviction Trial Workshop every Thursday afternoon. Sign up at https://www.stayhousedla.org/workshops or call (888) 694-0040.
Eviction defense Network holds an Eviction Trial Workshop every Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. and Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Visit this link to join by Zoom. If you cannot access Zoom, call (214) 485-8112 on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. to join by phone.