Unlawful Detainer Stay of Execution Due to Hardship
In California, a landlord who wins an eviction case (unlawful detainer) and receives a judgment for possession of the property must act immediately to enforce the judgment by obtaining a Writ of Possession. Depending on county sheriff processing times, the time from obtaining a judgment for possession against the tenant and the sheriff performing the lockout can take as much as 14 to 21 days on average. However, tenants can file a motion for an unlawful detainer stay of execution due to hardship under California Code of Civil Procedure §918(a).
California Code of Civil Procedure §918(a) says the following: the trial court may stay the enforcement of any judgment or order.
Tenants Can Delay the Sheriff’s Eviction Lockout
What this means in an eviction case in California is that a tenant can delay the eviction. The court has the discretion, but not the obligation, to delay the lockout even after the landlord has received a judgment for possession of the property, if the tenant can convince the court that there would be extreme hardship if the lockout is not delayed. This would be in the form of a tenant declaration stating facts relating to the hardship.
Landlord’s Must Act Fast to Object to Tenant’s Motion to Delay Eviction
An eviction stay of execution due to hardship under California Code of Civil Procedure §918(a) in California may be granted if the tenant satisfies the court that extreme hardship would occur but for the temporary delay. A landlord should oppose the motion and specify why the stay would be prejudicial and harmful to the landlord.
If a landlord receives a notice regarding a court hearing for a stay of execution due to hardship under California Code of Civil Procedure §918(a), it will usually be in the form of an “ex parte” motion received the day before the hearing and if often nothing more than a telephone call without any documents. If a landlord receives notice of such a hearing for a stay of execution due to hardship under CCP §918, the landlord should act immediately and hire an experienced attorney to assist in responding to such a motion.
In most cases (if not all of them) if a stay of execution due to hardship under CCP §918 is granted, the tenant will be ordered to pay rent during the stay period (this does not include payment of all back rent owed).