Ask for a set aside after an eviction judgment

If you lost your eviction case, there are a few situations where you can ask the judge to cancel - or set aside - the judgment and make a new decision about whether you're evicted or not.

    File a motion to set aside or cancel the judge's decision

    A set aside is only allowed in rare situations - things that happened due to your "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect" according to the law.

    For example, you may have accidentally filed your Answer form a day too late, or you missed your court date because you went to the hospital for an emergency and you couldn't call the court to let it know.

    You're allowed to file for a set aside for up to 6 months after the judgment was made.

    Consider getting legal help if you want a set-aside

    Filing a set aside motion is difficult. If you want the judge to make a decision before you are evicted, you will also need to ask the judge to make a decision quickly. There are special rules for how you do that. It's best to have help from a lawyer or Legal Aid.

    • You have to research the law to figure out what to put on the papers you file, usually Code of Civil Procedure section 473 (section b)
    • There are no court forms, so you have to write the motion in a specific legal format 
    • You will need to attach an Answer - Unlawful Detainer-Eviction (form UD-105) if you didn't file one already
    • You only get 1 chance to ask for a set-aside. If you do it incorrectly, you can't ask again.
    • Even if you think you have a good reason, the judge may not agree to set aside the decision

    If you decide to ask for a set-aside, you might consider asking the court for more time before you have to move at the same time (called a stay of execution).

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