Unlawful detainers by design are summary proceedings which allow a quick resolution of disputes regarding possession of real estate. Depending on your perspective, either landlord or tenant, the effect of serving a tenant by substituted service can be important.
As background, in California, unlawful detainers, like most actions, can be served by substitute service. Substitute service essentially means leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the individual’s dwelling, usual place of business or usual mailing address. The server must leave the summons and complaint with a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office or place of business at least 18 years old. The server must then also mail other copies of the summons and complaint to the defendant at the place where the copies were left.
Service by this method extends a defendant’s time to respond to 10 days from the date of the follow-up mailing. In other words, in an unlawful detainer action, service by substituted service extends a defendant’s time to respond to the complaint from 5 days to 15 days from the date of mailing (5 + 10 from date of mailing). For a defendant, this is generally good because more time is generally a good thing for a defendant. For a landlord, however, this can cause delay in the entire eviction process.
For a Los Angeles Unlawful Detainer/Eviction Attorney contact Schorr Law, APC, 310-954-1877, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.schorr-law.com.