California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)
4300. Introductory InstructionDownload PDF
This is an action for what is called unlawful detainer. [Name of plaintiff],
the [landlord/tenant], claims that [name of defendant] is [his/her/its]
[tenant/subtenant] under a [lease/rental agreement/sublease] and that
[name of defendant] no longer has the right to occupy the property [by
subleasing to [name of subtenant]]. [Name of plaintiff] seeks to recover
possession of the property from [name of defendant]. [Name of defendant]
claims that [he/she/it] still has the right to occupy the property because
[insert defenses at issue].
The property involved in this case is [describe property: e.g., “an
apartment,” “a house,” “space in a commercial building”] located in [city
or area] at [address].
New August 2007
Directions for Use
If the plaintiff is the landlord or owner and the defendant is the tenant, select
“landlord” and “tenant,” in the ﬁrst sentence. If the plaintiff is a tenant seeking to
recover possession from a subtenant, select “tenant” and “subtenant.” (Code Civ.
Proc., § 1161(3).)
If the plaintiff is the landlord or owner, select either “lease” or “rental agreement”
in the ﬁrst sentence. Commercial documents are usually called “leases” while
residential documents are often called “rental agreements.” Select the term that is
used on the written document. If the plaintiff is a tenant seeking to recover
possession from a subtenant, select “sublease.”
If the defendant is a tenant who has subleased the premises to someone else, add
the bracketed language in the ﬁrst paragraph referring to subleasing.
Sources and Authority
• Right to Jury Trial. Code of Civil Procedure section 1171.
•Right of Tenant to Bring Unlawful Detainer Against Subtenant. Code of Civil
Procedure section 1161(3).
• “The remedy of unlawful detainer is designed to provide means by which the
timely possession of premises which are wrongfully withheld may be secured to
the person entitled thereto.” (Knowles v. Robinson (1963) 60 Cal.2d 620, 625
[36 Cal.Rptr. 33, 387 P.2d 833].)
• “Chapter 4 of title 3 of part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure is commonly
known as the Unlawful Detainer Act (hereafter, the Act). The Act is broad in
scope and available to both lessors and lessees who have suffered certain
wrongs committed by the other. Procedures and proceedings in unlawful
detainer were not known at common law and are entirely creatures of statute.
As such, they are governed solely by the statutes which created them. Thus,
where the Act ‘deals with matters of practice, its provisions supersede the rules
of practice contained in other portions of the code.’ ” (Losornio v. Motta (1998)
67 Cal.App.4th 110, 113 [78 Cal.Rptr.2d 799], internal citations omitted.)
12 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2006) Real Property, § 703
2California Landlord-Tenant Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed.) §§ 9.5, 9.34–9.36
1 California Eviction Defense Manual (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed.) §§ 1.4–1.5
7 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 210, Unlawful Detainer, § 210.01
Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Landlord-Tenant Litigation, Ch. 5,
Unlawful Detainer, 5.02
29 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 333, Landlord and Tenant:
Eviction Actions, § 333.12 (Matthew Bender)
Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, Ch. 19, Landlord-Tenant, § 19:214
CACI No. 4300 UNLAWFUL DETAINER