In California unlawful detainer trials and litigation as a whole are very expedited. Indeed, Code of Civil Procedure section 1170.5 requires that, if possession of the rental unit is still at issue, trial be held no later than the 20th day after a request for trial setting is made. This request can be made as soon as the defendant files its answer. This is a pretty quick process. I generally request the trial date to avoid scheduling conflicts. If possession is returned to the landlord before trial, then the case is placed on the normal civil calendar.
I always suggest that as soon as the defendant responds to the complaint, no matter if you are the plaintiff or the defendant, you should immediately make a request to set the case for trial so that the court will attempt to accomodate your scheduling conflicts.
For help with your unlawful detainer, contact Schorr Law, APC. 323-658-8196. http://schorr-law.com/