Cost of an Eviction California

Cost of an Eviction California

Last Updated: April 3, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

The average cost of an eviction in California for all filing, court, and service fees is $450. However, the cost varies heavily on the amount of the eviction claim. Eviction lawsuits can be filed in Superior Court where the dwelling unit is located.

These filing, court, and service fees do not include outside costs such as legal fees or post-eviction fees (i.e., locksmith fees, storage costs for a tenant’s abandoned property, cleaning service fees, repair costs, or advertising costs for a vacant dwelling unit).

1. Initial Court Filing Fee

In California, if the eviction notice expires and the tenant remains on the property without correcting the issue, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Unlawful Detainer”) with the court the following business day.

The filing fee for an initial Unlawful Detainer depends on the claim amount:

  • If the claim is under $10,000, the filing fee is $240.
  • If the claim is $10,000 and up to $25,000 the filing fee is $385.
  • If the claim is over $25,000 the filing fee is $435.

Also, certain counties such as San Francisco, Riverside, and San Bernardino have their own filing fees which range from $240-$410.

2. Summons Service Fee

Once the initial filing fees are paid in California, the court will issue a Summons. The Summons is the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when/where to appear in court). The landlord must arrange for a process server to deliver the Summons to the tenant.

The Summons service fee varies by process server. For example, a sheriff in Riverside County may charge $40 for delivering a Summons; however, a registered private process server may charge more.

3. Answer Filing Fee

If the tenant would like to contest the eviction in California, they can file a formal Answer with the court. If the tenant files an Answer, it gives the tenant the opportunity to admit or deny the landlord’s allegations. Additionally, if the tenant files an Answer, an eviction hearing will be held.

Filing fees vary and depend on the claim amount, for example:

  • For claims up to $10,000, the filing fee is $225.
  • For claims over $10,000 and up to $25,000, the filing fee is $370.
  • For claims over the amount of $25,000 the filing fee is $435.

In California, if the tenant does not file an Answer, the landlord can ask for a default judgment without having to go to a court hearing and the landlord can request an immediate order of possession from the clerk of court’s office.

4.Writ of Execution Issuance Fee

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the court shall immediately issue a Writ of Execution in California. The writ is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the premises. The filing fee for a writ is $25.  [ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’] Note, the writ fee is applicable to all counties in California.

5. Writ of Execution Enforcement Fee

In California, the Writ of Execution must be enforced[ttip number=’2′ icon=’popover-balance’] by a sheriff and the fee varies by county.  For example, a Riverside sheriff may charge $145.

6. Notice of Appeal Fee

If either party chooses to file an Appeal, the filing fee is $225. Note, the Notice of Appeal fee is applicable to all counties in California.