Here are three strategy tips for defending an unlawful detainer in California:
1. Serve discovery when you file your answer or other responsive pleading. This will give you a preview of the evidence and theories that the landlord will try to assert at trial. Basic discovery can be conducted using judicial council form interrogatories. All you have to do is check the boxes. These forms can be found on the California Judicial Council website.
2. Pay your jury fees and demand a jury trial. An unlawful detainer defendant in California has a right to a jury trial, so use it.
3. Seek legal help. Unlawful Detainers are a very procedurally specific area of the law. You may have a technical defense that only an experienced attorney would know – regardless of the merits of your substantive defense.