Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New legislation signed today: timing on eviction notices and responding to UD summons and deposition notices

Among 25 bills signed today, one drew my attention: extending time to respond to eviction notices and to unlawful detainer summons (AB 2343).

Far from being as drastic as the Proposition 10 going to the ballots this November, the AB 2343 bill signed today give some new food for thought (or some pain in the neck, depending on what side you are on).
The announced purpose of excluding weekend timing from the total amount of days counted toward responding to a 3-day notice and the 5-day summons is not a problem. An all adage comes to mind that an "[u]nlawful detainer is a summary proceeding" [Culver Center Partners East #1, L.P. v. Baja Fresh Westlake Village, Inc. (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 744, 749], but the landlord's right to speeding up the process was not treated as absolute long before: "public policies furthered by protecting tenant from eviction outweighed state's interest in insuring that unlawful detainer proceedings are truly summary." E. S. Bills, Inc. v. Tzucanow (1985) 38 Cal.3d 824.

Here is the quirky part: the changes are only inserted in subsections (2) and (3) of the statute. This leaves untouched the 3-day notice to quit under CCP § 1161(4), and I don't know why. The obvious explanation would be that the notice under this subsection is not stated in the alternative (i.e., it is a notice to quit, not a notice to cure or quit), but if the purpose of the amendment was to give tenants more time to deal with the notice of eviction, wouldn't it be logical to give them same time length to vacate under subsection (4) and thus avoid eviction?

A similar exemption of weekends and holidays from the time to respond to summons, also introduced by the same bill, does not appear to have any quirks, at least yet. Wait until someone will argue it affects timing for a motion to quash, and then we'll see.

It becomes effective on September 1, 2019.

More real property posts

If you are concerned about your rights and obligations in a landlord-tenant relationship, make your first step toward taking control over the circumstances, and call my office at (415) 987-7000. I will be glad to assist in guiding you through the jungle. The only thing you can't afford is to stay put and uninformed. My office provides a confidential assessment of your particular scenario, free of charge, and I will share with you the results of the analysis along with my thoughts on available solutions.

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