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New law gives Californians extra time after eviction

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David Chiu’s bill hopes to curb weekend eviction ambushes

A yellow eviction notice on a door. Photo by DavidPinoPhotography

Under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, Californians will have extra days to respond to eviction attempts.

Or at least, maybe they will. It all depends on the timing of the eviction: Previously, the law said that a landlord attempting to evict must give tenants three days “to cure the violation or vacate.”

AB 2324, written by San Francisco-based assemblymember David Chiu, potentially extends that period:

This bill would change the notice period to exclude judicial holidays, including Saturday and Sunday.

Under existing law, a plaintiff that wishes to bring an action to obtain possession of real property must file a complaint and serve the defendant with a notice of summons, in which case the defendant has five days to respond.

This bill would clarify that the period in which a defendant may respond to a notice of summons does not include judicial holidays, including Saturday and Sunday.

Long story short, weekends don’t count against you in eviction deadlines, nor do any federal holidays that may pop up along the way.

This could end up providing crucial extra time for tenants facing the possibility of eviction; unless of course a landlord serves notice on a Monday or Tuesday, in which case it’s still all the same.

In a statement after the signing, Chiu’s office said, “Legal aid attorneys across the California have reported incidents in which tenants are presented with a notice on a Friday before a holiday weekend,” leaving them unable to respond to a court summons or scrambling to come up with back rent while everything is closed.

Chiu said, “A few extra days can be the difference between staying in their home or becoming homeless.”

AB 2324 passed the California Senate 25-12 and the Assembly 46-27 in a pair of late August votes.

Why would anyone vote against this? Well, opponents of Chiu’s measure in the state’s judiciary committee argued that it already takes too long to evict someone and described additional time as “free rent.”

The new law goes into effect September 1, 2019.