CACI No. 4300. Introductory Instruction

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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4300.Introductory Instruction
This is an action for what is called unlawful detainer. [Name of plaintiff],
the [landlord/tenant], claims that [name of defendant] is [his/her/nonbinary
pronoun/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/nonbinary pronoun/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).
• Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Civil Code section 1946.2.
• Definition of “Just Cause.” Civil Code section 1946.2(b).
• “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
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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.)
Secondary Sources
12 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Real Property, § 734
2 California 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. 200, Termination: Causes and
Procedures, § 200.21 (Matthew Bender)
7 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 210, Unlawful Detainer, § 210.01
(Matthew Bender)
Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Landlord-Tenant Litigation, Ch. 5,
Unlawful Detainer, 5.02
29 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 332, Landlord and Tenant: The
Tenancy, § 332.28 (Matthew Bender)
29 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 333, Landlord and Tenant:
Eviction Actions, § 333.12 (Matthew Bender)
Miller & Starr California Real Estate 4th, §§ 34:195, 34:200, 34:205 (Thomson
Reuters)
CACI No. 4300 UNLAWFUL DETAINER
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