For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Kern County, California

Media Contact:

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc.

(661) 325-5943

Judicial Council

The California Constitution requires the Judicial Council to ensure the administration of justice in California courts. On 4/6/20, the Judicial Council adopted temporary emergency rules into the California Rules of Court. The following conditions apply to ALL unlawful detainer actions in California, except where the unlawful detainer action (or early trial) is necessary to protect public health and safety.

Summons Issuance in Unlawful Detainers

Generally, a summons is a notice that a lawsuit has been filed and requires a person to appear and defend oneself in court within a certain amount of time. Now, a court may not issue a summons.

Default Entry in Unlawful Detainers

Generally, a default is a person’s failure to act in a lawsuit and a default judgment is the court’s ruling against the person that failed to act. Now, a court may not enter a default or a default judgment.

Time for Trial in Unlawful Detainers

Generally, an unlawful detainer trial is scheduled within 20 days from a trial request. Now:

1. if a defendant timely appears, a trial date may be set only after 60 days from request, and
2. any trial set as of 4/6/20 must be continued at least 60 days from the initial trial date.


The first rule is effective until:

1. 90 days after the Governor lifts California’s pandemic-related state of emergency, or
2. the Judicial Council amends or repeals the rule.


Kern County Superior Court

The Kern County Superior Court (“Court”) issued two orders regarding emergency relief. Those orders delay certain aspects of unlawful detainer actions. The Court’s orders may be found here.

The Court’s orders deem the dates from 3/18/20 to 4/30/20 to be holidays for computing the time for filing papers with the Court under code of civil procedure sections 12 and 12a. This means that a person who was served shortly before those orders were issued, and before the Judicial Council adopted the temporary emergency rules, may have more time to act in Kern County.


Disclaimer: The information herein does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice because all information is provided for general informational purposes only.  Information herein may not be current information. Readers should consult with an attorney to obtain legal advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking legal advice from an attorney. Use of or access to the information herein do not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind whatsoever.  All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the information herein are hereby expressly disclaimed.  The information herein is provided “as is” and no representations are made that the information herein is error-free.