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Unlawful Detainer

An unlawful detainer matter is a case in which a landlord seeks to evict a tenant.


Main Courthouse, 1500 Court Street, Room 319, Redding CA 96001 -  Map
Office Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

(530) 245-6789
(530) 605-2802 Fax



Local Forms, Form Packets, and Judicial Council Forms are available online.

All required forms are also available in the Civil Division. Click here to access the California State Judicial Branch forms website, complete your forms and choose the county where you will be filing. This site helps you fill out forms by prompting you with questions.

General Information

In an eviction action, the landlord is the "plaintiff" and the tenant is the "defendant".

An unlawful detainer is a court action that moves very quickly. The tenant has only five days to file a written response to the suit after being served with the complaint. Normally, the case will be heard within 20 days after the tenant answers.

Self Help Assistance

Further information and publications are available at the California Department of Consumer Affairs web site. A book entitled "California Tenants, a guide to residential tenants' and landlords' rights and responsibilities" is also available through the Department of Consumer Affairs. You may download the publication, order it on-line, or mail in your order. The address for this agency is:

California Department of Consumer Affairs
401 S Street, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 952-5210

The California Courts Self Help Center allows you to download forms and information regarding unlawful detainer actions.

The Hearing

At the hearing, the parties can present their evidence and explain their case. If the court finds the tenant has a good defense, the court may not evict. If the court decides in favor of the landlord, a writ of possession will be issued. Information and further details are available at the California Courts Self Help Center web site.

What if I cannot afford a filing fee?

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees and other court costs, you may qualify for a waiver of those costs. You may obtain the Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs at the Courthouse in Redding or by downloading the two forms below. There is no charge to file the application.

Application for Waiver of court Fees and Costs (In Forma Pauperis).

Order on Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs (In Forma Pauperis) The Order must be submitted with the Application at the time of filing.

© 2009 Superior Court of Shasta County