Riverside County Law Library

Unlawful Detainer (Eviction)

Research guide on Unlawful Detainer (Eviction)

What is an Unlawful Detainer?

Usually the term Unlawful Detainer (UD) refers to the legal process of evicting a tenant from a property due to nonpayment of rent, endangering other tenants or property damage. 

There are a series of steps the landlord must follow in order to legally remove the tenant from the property.  First, the landlord must serve the tenant with written notice. Depending on specific circumstances, the landlord must provide the tenant with written three day, 30 day, 60 day or 90 day notice.  To learn more about Written Notice, please read:

If the tenant has not corrected the problem or has not moved out within the time period provided in the Notice, the landlord may then file a UD suit. 

We recommend that you begin your research with the resources followed by an asterisk. 

Online Resources:
The Superior Court of California Self Help*
Website provides an informational guide which provides both landlords and tenants information about how to navigate the court system in a UD proceeding as well as links to forms.

The Superior Court of California, County of Riverside Self-Help*
Website provides UD packets, Judicial Council and local forms, videos, brochures, and charts.  Also provides a link to the Tenant Landlord Assistance Program (TLAP) available for those that qualify- flyer (pdf).

California Tenants a Guide to Residential Tenants and Landlords’ Rights Responsibilities*
Link to a pamphlet created by the State of California which discusses a variety of landlord/tenant issues including the eviction process.

Housing Authority of the County of Riverside
Website provides information and links to resources that may be available to both parties in a landlord/tenant dispute.

We recommend that you begin your research with the resources followed by an asterisk. 


Print Resources:
Title: California Tenants’ Rights* (R-d) (I)
Publisher: Nolo Press
CallNo: REF KFC 145 .P67 2013                                
ISBN: 9781413310153; 9781413306255
Description: Provides information and tips for tenants on how to protect and assert their rights in California.

Title: The California Landlord’s Law Book: Evictions (R-d) (I) (T)
Publisher: Nolo Press
CallNo: REF KFC 145 .B7 E9 2015                             
ISBN: 9781413320985
Description: An easy to understand guide for landlords on how to evict tenants including information about notice, filing the UD complaint, and collecting on a money judgment.

The California Landlord’s Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities (R-d) (I)
Publisher: Nolo Press
CallNo: REF KFC145 .B7R5 2015                                
ISBN: 9781413320862
Description:  A landlord’s guide to renting out residential property including information about evictions and issues that may arise during the rental period.

Title: California Practice Guide: Landlord Tenant (R) (I)
Publisher: Rutter Group
CallNo: KFC 145 .F75                                                 
Description: An in-depth resource which covers creation of tenancy, rights and responsibilities during tenancy, termination of tenancy, and UD litigation.

Title: California Landlord Tenant Practice (R-d) (I) (T)
Publisher: Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
CallNo: CEB KFC 145 .C362                                      
ISBN: 9780762600656
Description: This two volume set provides information about creating tenancies and the rights and duties of both parties during tenancy.  Volume 2 provides in-depth information on UD proceedings.

Title: California Eviction Defense Manual (R-d) (I) (T)
Publisher: Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
CallNo: REF KFC 1028 .E9M682                               
ISBN: 9780881246360
Description: An in-depth manual which covers all major aspects of the eviction process including information regarding special considerations for rent controlled cities, subsidized housing and commercial tenancies. 

Call numbers are for use in RCLL. Initials after title specify which library the item can be located (R) Riverside, (R-d) Riverside reference desk, (I) Indio/Desert Branch, (T) Temecula. ISBN numbers are for use outside of the library, such as for personal purchase.

Pertinent Code Sections:
Code of Civil Procedure §1161- §1179a

Please Note: The information presented in this research guide is intended to provide a foundation for legal research. For information pertaining to your case please consult with an attorney, court facilitator or specialist.


Rev. 12/22/2015