Fill out forms to start an eviction case

You can start an eviction (unlawful detainer) case if your tenant didn’t do what you asked for in the Notice and the deadline in the Notice has passed. Your next step is to fill out forms to ask the judge to order your tenant to move out (and pay you if they owe past due rent).

Before you start

Make sure your tenant's deadline passed

You can only file an eviction case if the Notice deadline passed. Each Notice has a different deadline

To calculate the Notice deadline, start with the number of days in the Notice's name. Day 1 is the day after the Notice was delivered to the tenant if handed to them or the day after it was mailed to them if your tenant wasn't handed the Notice in person. 

  • If your Notice says your tenant can do something to fix the problem, like a 3 Notice to Pay Rent or Quit or a 3-day Notice to Perform or Quit, then do not count Saturdays, Sundays or court holidays.
  • If your Notice does not say your tenant can fix the problem, like a 3-day Notice to Quit or a 30- or 60-day Notice to Quit, then you count every day.
    • Example: 3-day notice to perform covenants or quit

      If this Notice was delivered on a Thursday, then Day 1 is Friday, Day 2 is Monday (if not a court holiday), Day 3 is Tuesday (if not a court holiday). So if the tenant doesn't do what you asked for in the Notice or move out, you can start a court case on Day 4, Wednesday.

    • EXAMPLE: 30-day Notice of Termination of Tenancy

      If this Notice was delivered on a Thursday, then Day 1 is Friday, Day 2 is Saturday, Day 3 is Sunday, Day 4 is Monday, Day 5 is Tuesday and you keep counting on the calendar until you get to Day 30. If the tenant doesn't move out, you can start a court case on Day 31.

Gather papers you’ll need to attach to the court forms

  • A copy of the lease or rental agreement (if there is one) and any written changes the tenant agreed to 

  • A copy of the Notice you gave your tenant(s)

  • A copy of written proof your tenant was given the Notice 

  • Anything else that will help prove to the judge that your tenant should move out

You may need legal help with this. 

Evictions are very detail-oriented. You can lose your case even if you only make a small mistake, like counting days wrong or asking for too much past due rent by accident. If you lose, you have to start the whole case over. 

How to fill out eviction forms

  • Fill out forms

    To start the eviction case, fill out 4 court forms: 

    • Summons - Unlawful Detainer-Eviction (form SUM-130

    • Complaint - Unlawful Detainer (form UD-100

    • Plaintiff’s Mandatory Cover Sheet and Supplemental Allegations – Unlawful Detainer (form UD-101

    • Civil Case Cover Sheet (form CM-010

    Find the superior court in the county where the home your tenant lives in is located and the particular courthouse that handles eviction (unlawful detainer) cases. That’s the address you’ll enter at the top of the forms and on the Summons under your name and address.

    You are the plaintiff.  Your tenant is the defendant. You can have more than one defendant. List all tenants and any other people who live in the home as defendants even if their names aren't on the lease. If there’s more than one tenant they can all be evicted with one set of forms. 

     If you don’t list people who aren't on the lease and you win your case, the other people who live in the home can ask the court to stop the eviction and ask to be added into the case. If this happens, you'll have to start your case over.



    You will need to pay a fee when you file the form. 

    The fee amount varies from $240-$450. The more back rent you're owed, the higher the fee. If you can't afford the fee, fill out a form to ask for a fee waiver. 
  • Find out if you have any local forms to complete

    Some courts have additional local forms they require you to use.   

    Contact your court clerk’s office, check your court’s website, or talk to your court's Self-Help Center to ask if they have any local forms you need to use.

  • Make copies

    Make copies of the forms and any attachments. 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. 


What’s next?

After you've filled out all of the required court forms and gathered any additional papers you'll need, you'll take everything to the courthouse and file with the court clerk.

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