When an unlawful detainer lawsuit is filed in California, every adult residing in a property has the right to be heard in court. This is true even if the person is not a named resident, is not an authorized occupant, and even if the person is unknown to the landlord.
If an adult residing the premises was not named in the unlawful detainer lawsuit, that person can delay the lockout by filing a “third party claim of right to possession,” otherwise known as an Arrieta Claim, right before the lockout, causing a delay of at least two weeks.
If a prejudgment claim form is not served, and if an unknown occupant files a last minute third party claim right of possession, the lockout will not occur as scheduled. Instead, the court will set a hearing to determine whether the claimant should have been named as a party to the unlawful detainer action. Depending on the circumstances, the judge might require that the unlawful detainer process be started over again.
In the extremely unlikely event of an unlawful detainer, we always have our attorney, Kimball, Tirey, & St. John, file the pre judgment claim to avoid the potential issue of a third party claim.
If you are ever stuck with a tenant that needs to be evicted (unlawful detainer) be sure to use an attorney and to request that they file a pre judgement claim on your behalf. The additional time and money may save you from a lot of trouble later.