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Civil Action

The filing of a complaint commences a Civil action. This is the means by which the Court acquires jurisdiction of the case and is the start of a case file. Some common types of actions are:

  • Unlawful Detainer Actions

    An Unlawful Detainer is a civil action in which a landlord/owner brings suit against a tenant to obtain a court order giving the holder of property the right to regain possession of the property from the tenant. Before the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must serve a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit on the tenant. If the tenant refuses to comply with the notice, and does not either pay the rent or quit the premises, the plaintiff may then file his/her Unlawful Detainer complaint.


  • Breach of Contract Actions

    The plaintiff and defendant have entered into an agreement ("contract"), and defendant fails to meet his obligation under the agreement. This failure may consist of a failure to provide goods and/or services, or a failure to pay for goods delivered or for services already rendered. The contract may be either written or verbal.


  • Tort - Personal Injury or Property Damage Actions

    The plaintiff has been injured, and sues the defendant, claiming that the defendant caused the plaintiff's injuries through negligence. The plaintiff's personal or real property has been damaged and the plaintiff sues the defendant, claiming that the defendant caused the damage through negligence.


The jurisdiction of a court is the authority to handle a case and involves the amount of the dispute.

  • Small Claims courts hear matters where the dollar amount in dispute does not exceed $7500 for natural persons.
  • Limited Jurisdiction courts hear matters where the dollar amount in dispute or value of the property does not exceed $25,000 and most Unlawful Detainer cases.
  • General Jurisdiction courts hear all other matters.

Filing Civil Action, Unlawful Detainer, Breach of Contract, Tarzana, CA