CA - Unlawful Detainer

An Unlawful Detainer (UD) order should be handled uniquely different than a general Summons and Complaint.

It is important to note that there are two types of UD orders that you may receive. UD Notices and UD Summons & Complaint which must be rushed with daily attempts.


UD orders should be considered services to addresses, not individuals. This can appear confusing as you will receive orders with named Individuals and “Occupants” on your coversheet. Because the address is confirmed and verified beforehand, you should never need to fill out a Non-Residency Indicator for a UD order. Service should occur regardless of information you may acquire from residents at the time of your attempt.

In situations where you may feel address validity is uncertain, describe your observations in the Attempt notes and escalate the order number as a request Here for further review.

Upon receiving an Unlawful Detainer - Notice

On the first attempt, the Notice documents can be posted, or served (personally or substitute). Even though you may post on your first attempt, you must still knock on the door and try to contact a resident before you can post. If you do post the documents, include in your notes "No answer at door." or "Knocked on door but received no answer."

If you post or substitute serve the UD Notice , you must also mail a copy of the notice by first class mailing to the same address within 24 hours.

Upon receiving an Unlawful Detainer - Summons & Complaint

If you have received a UD Summons and Complaint, it is because the Notice was not resolved (Note that another server may have delivered the Notice). The documents should be printed as such: 1 copy per any named individual and 2 copies per any unnamed “Occupant”.

UD Summons & Complaints will always be Rush orders, meaning they require attempts every 24 hours. They also follow the normal rules for CA Substitute Service, meaning 3 physical attempts must be made before sub-serving, and the person receiving the documents must be a co-resident 18 years or older.

If no contact is made after 6 Rush attempts, the order will automatically halt service and ABC Legal will request an Order to Post. If the Order to Post is approved, it will be sent to you to post.

Once Sub-service or Posting occurs, our L.A. Office will be notified, and they will mail out an extra set of documents to the location that sub-service/posting occurred at.