If you are being evicted and you have been served with an unlawful detainer lawsuit, gathering and presenting evidence is an important part of preparing to defend against your eviction. As I mentioned in my blog “What Happens After You’ve Been Served With an Unlawful Detainer?”, you have only 5 calendar days to respond after being served with a Summons and Complaint. An Answer should be filed with the Clerk of the Court in the county in which you are served.
When preparing to defend against an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit, here are some aspects of the case I consider:
- How to best present the facts that support your side of the case. There are different ways to do this. Witnesses, copies of checks, financial records, photographs or video are some of the common evidence that is used to defend an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit.
- Which witnesses will support your case by testifying at trial. Witnesses who do not want to testify could be compelled to appear with a subpoena.
- What evidence is needed from the landlord that may be helpful in preparing your defense. This is called the legal term “discovery.” There are specific deadlines for doing discovery, which I will write about in an upcoming blog.
Understanding the issues of a case can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the legal system. Talking to an experienced tenant attorney knowledgeable in defending renter’s right may help you construct a good defense against being evicted from your home.