In California, unlawful detainers are summary proceedings that occur in a court of limited jurisidiction. In other words, because the law expedites unlawful detainer matters through summary proceedings, that court does not have the power to hear all matters that other courts would be able to hear or determine. Instead, in California, the unlawful detainer court has jurisdiction to decide possession and back rent owed. As soon as possession is no longer at issue, the court converts the case to the regular civil calendar.
As a result, you unlawful detainer attorney can sue for possession and back rent. However, if the attorney is representing the defendant tenant the attorney does not have the ability to state an affirmative claim for damages, only defenses.
Posted by Zachary D. Schorr, Schorr Law, APC, www.schorr-law.com, email@example.com , 323-658-8196