COVID-19 Court Information

Unlawful Detainer/ Evictions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q-1: ARE ALL UNLAWFUL DETAINER (EVICTION) CASES STOPPED AS A RESULT OF COVID-19 EMERGENCY ORDERS

  • A: Most, but not all, will be paused or suspended.
    1. As a result of Emergency California Rules of Court enacted by the Judicial Council of California (JCC) on 4/6/20 and that will remain in effect for 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency has ended or until amended or repealed:
      • Starting 4/6/20, the clerk’s office will not issue any summons for an eviction case unless a judge first finds that eviction is necessary to protect public health and safety. This means that, while this order remains in effect, one of the papers necessary to serve a tenant with an eviction suit will not be issued unless a judge makes a specific order.
      • Starting on 4/6/20, the clerk’s office will not enter any default or default judgment in an eviction case unless a judge first finds eviction is necessary to protect public health and safety.
      • Any eviction set for trial as of 4/1/20 must be continued at least 60 days from the date presently set for trial. The new trial date, once assigned, can be found online at the site for that case’s information.
      • The clerk’s office will not set any trials for at least 60 days from the date a request is made to set the case for trial, unless a judge first finds that an earlier trial date is necessary to protect public health and safety.
    2. If an eviction is not paused because of the reasons stated above under # (1), there are many other Emergency Orders enacted by the Governor and by local jurisdictions which may affect an eviction. These rules are involved and can vary, depending upon whether the property is in the unincorporated area of the County or in a city. For example, some of these local rules require that the tenant pay the amount of rent that the tenant is able to pay while eviction is paused, some set a deadline for the payment of overdue rent, and some require that the tenant notify the landlord in writing and provide documents to the landlord.

Q-2: IF AN EVICTION IS PAUSED BY THESE TEMPORARY ORDERS, DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE TENANT DOES NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY RENT FOR THE PERIOD THAT THE EVICTION WAS SUSPENDED?

  • A: No. Nothing in the orders relieves a tenant from the obligation or liability to pay rent.

Q-3: HOW CAN I FILE PAPERS WITH THE COURT WHEN THE COURTHOUSE IS CLOSED?

  • A: You can file your papers electronically (online) or by depositing the documents at the drop box outside any courthouse. If you need to file an Answer (or response) to an Unlawful Detainer Complaint, you can use the Guide and File system found under the Self-Help tab and accessed by this link. You may also contact the Self-Help Center for information at (831)-647-5800 X 3005 or by email at selfhelpcenter@monterey.courts.ca.gov.

Q-4: HOW WILL THE COURT CLOSURES IMPACT EVICTION DEADLINES?

  • A: Several deadlines may be impacted or extended by the court closure. For example, when a tenant has been served with a Summons and Complaint, the law requires that the tenant file a response within 5 days, excluding Saturday, Sunday, or other judicial holidays. (See Code of Civil Procedure Section 1167). If no response is timely filed, the landlord may request a default judgment against the tenant.
  • HOWEVER, the emergency rules affect this as follows: in Monterey County, March 18 through May 1, 2020 have been declared judicial holidays for the Court. This means, that under the current rules, if the last day to file (or serve) a paper in a case falls on or between one of those days, the last day to file now becomes May 4, 2020 or the next day after that when the court re-opens to the public. May 2, 2020 to May 29, 2020 are deemed holidays only to the extent that the emergency conditions "substantially interfered with the public’s ability to file papers in a court facility on those dates".
  • FURTHERMORE, the Governor’s Executive Order N-37-20 extends the 5-day time limit to 60 days for tenants who meet certain requirements and promptly take certain steps to notify the landlord in writing about inability to pay the rent.

Q-5: IF THE COURT HAS ALREADY ISSUED AN ORDER EVICTING A TENANT (WRIT of POSSESSION), CAN AN ORDER FOR STAY OF EVICTION BE OBTAINED?

  • A: A stay may be requested electronically (online). A judge will review the request.
  • A stay request, may also be submitted to the Courthouse at 1200 Aguajito Rd., Monterey, CA 93940 or the drop box at any location. You may request the forms in person if you are not able to access them online. Drop box and US Mail are currently being processed next day, not same day. (Note: use of the Drop Box locations at Salinas and Marina locations may add one additional day to court processing and review.)
  • A Request for Stay is an extraordinary remedy and must be submitted AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after a residence is posted by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. Please allow at least 48 hours for the processing of any request by the Court.
  • New orders and rules are occurring frequently. For information you may also contact the Self-Help Center at (831)-647-5800 X 3005 or by email at selfhelpcenter@monterey.courts.ca.gov.