If you are an "Unnamed Occupant" and the landlord wants to evict you:
Normally, a landlord will have a written rental agreement or lease with a tenant and know his or her name. However, sometimes a known tenant allows other adults to live with him or her, and the landlord doesn't know the names of these people.
If you are an "unnamed occupant" in an eviction lawsuit, and the landlord wins the unlawful detainer case, a sheriff cannot lawfully evict you if your name does not appear on the writ of possession. The landlord can take steps to avoid this result.
If the landlord DID take steps to evict you:
When the "Summons" and "Complaint" are served on the named defendants, the process server can ask whether there are other people living in the unit who have not been named as defendants.
If there are, the process server can serve the unnamed person with a blank Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession form (CP 10.5) and a copy of the "Summons" and the "Complaint."
If you have been served with these three documents, you have 10 days to complete the Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession form and file it with the Court.
There are fees for filing documents with the court. If you cannot afford these fees, you can request a Fee Waiver (FW-001).
IMPORTANT: Any unnamed occupant who does not file a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession form with the Clerk of Court can then be evicted.
NOTE: When you file the CP 10.5 form, you automatically become a defendant in the unlawful detainer lawsuit. This means you must file an "Answer" to the landlord's "Complaint" no more than 5 days after filing the CP 10.5.
The court will then rule on your defense to the eviction along with the defenses of the other defendants.
If the landlord wins, you cannot delay the eviction, even if you are not named in the "writ of possession" issued by the court.
If the landlord DID NOT take steps to evict you:
Sometimes, the landlord does not have a "Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession" form served on the unnamed occupants when the unlawful detainer complaint is served.
If this is the case, when the sheriff arrives to enforce the "writ of possession" (that is, to evict the tenants) an occupant whose name does not appear on the writ of possession and who claims a right of possession, may fill out a "Claim of Right to Possession" form and give it to the sheriff. The sheriff must then stop the eviction of that occupant, and must give the occupant a copy of the completed form or a receipt for it. (See California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1174.3)
If you gave the sheriff a "Claim of Right to Possession" form:
If you gave the sheriff a completed "Claim of Right to Possession" form, you have only two (2) business days to pay the court's filing fees (or to file a request for waiver of the fee) at the clerk's office.
You also should deliver to the court an amount equal to 15 days' rent for the rental unit. The "writ of possession" must state the daily rental value of the rental unit.
5 to 15 days after you've paid the filing fee and deposited an amount equal to 15 days' rent, the court will hold a hearing.
- If you don't deposit the 15 days' rent, the court will hold the hearing within 5 days.
At the hearing, the court will decide whether or not you have a valid claim to possession.
- If the court decides that your claim to possession is valid, your deposit will be returned to you. The court will then order further proceedings.
- If the court finds that your claim to possession is not valid, an amount equal to the daily rent for each day the eviction was delayed will be subtracted from the rent that is returned to you. The sheriff or marshal will continue with the eviction.