Eviction (Residential)

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'For Rent' signEviction cases are called an "unlawful detainer" in court. An unlawful detainer lawsuit (eviction) is a court process that a landlord can use to try to make a tenant move out of his or her rental unit and/or pay rent that is owed.

SPECIAL NOTE: ALL OTHER types of legal disputes between landlords and tenants are generally handled in small claims court.   For information about small claims court procedures, click here

In general, landlords have a responsibility to provide a place to live that is in basically good condition, and tenants have a responsibility to take reasonable care of the property and to pay the rent in full and on time. When people have signed an agreement for a set period of time (such as 6 months or a year), they have a right to live there for that period of time unless they do not pay the rent on time, or if they break other rules in the lease agreement.

If a landlord wants to force a tenant to leave, he or she can start the legal process to ask for court order to force the tenant to leave. This section only covers unlawful detainer (eviction) proceedings for where people live. You should contact your city or county offices to find out if there are other rules landlords and tenants must follow as well.  

In this section you will find information about:

Watch a video about "Resolving Your Eviction Case in the California Courts" with information about procedures, advisory services, and mediation for unlawful detainer cases. Available with English, Spanish, and Russian narration and subtitles.

This section also has answers for your Frequently Asked Questions about eviction, and information about the forms you will need for your case.

To view some short videos with general information about how California's court system works, click here

To get the information you need to get started, you can use the "drop down" menu at the left side of this page, or you can click on the "Next" button at the bottom of the page.


This website’s general information is very helpful for everyone in California.
To find your county court’s website to learn about extra forms or procedures, click here.


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If you want help finding what you need, you can email us at virtualselfhelp@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.

You will receive a response within one week.