Before you start
If you haven't already, make copies of the forms and any attachments before you go to court to file them. You’ll need the original for the court to keep, a copy for you, and a copy for every tenant or others you know live in the home.
Take your forms to the court clerk's office
Go to the superior court in the county where your rental home is located. This will be the superior court you already wrote on the forms.
At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms you filled out by giving the original and the copies to a clerk at the clerk’s office.
Yes, you can file by mail. Mail the original and 2 copies to the clerk. You need to include the filing fee (or fee waiver request) and a self-addressed stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copies back to you. Make sure to include enough postage. If you don't include a self-addressed stamped envelope, you'll have to go to the courthouse to pick up your copies.
Some courts allow online filing. You can find out if your court has online filing (efiling) on your court's website.
Pay a filing fee
You’ll need to pay a fee of $240-$450 to the clerk when you file your forms.
If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver. You qualify for a fee waiver if:
You receive public benefits
Your income is less than a set amount
You can’t afford the fee and meet your basic needs
There is a range of filing fees depending on how much you are suing for.
- If you are suing your tenant for less than $10,000 the fee is typically $240
- If you are suing your tenant for between $10,000 up to $25,000 the fee is typically $385
- If you are suing your tenant for $25,000 or more the fee is typically $435
Get your filed forms back from the clerk
The clerk will stamp all the forms, keep the original and return the copies to you. Keep one copy for your records. You’ll have the other copies delivered to each tenant by a legal process called serving.
Next, you'll have the Summons and Complaint delivered to each tenant through a process called service or serving papers. This lets the tenant(s) know that you're starting an eviction case.