The Sheriff Lock-Out

The San Diego County Sheriff has set up new rules for conducting tenant lock-outs at the end of the Court eviction case. This is bad news for landlords, who are already experiencing Court delays in overall unlawful detainer process.

Once the Court has entered the judgment in your favor, the Court sends the paperwork to the Sheriff to kick the tenants out. Called a Writ, it is a five day notice to vacate.  For many years, the Sheriff’s policy is that the Sheriff mails to our law office written notice of the lock-out date, but not the time of day of the actual lock-out.  Then, the day before the date stated in the mailed notice, the Sheriff’s office places a phone call to you or your agent at the phone number you have given us, stating the exact time of the lock-out.  We have come to rely on this.  It has always been the very next day at the time given.

All that is changed. Under the new rules, the lock-out date notice that is sent to us by the Sheriff is now called a “tentative” notice.  This means the date is an estimate; the lock-out will be no earlier than this “tentative” date, and might be later.  How much later?  Time will tell.  Maybe one, two, or three days later.

Not so bad, but the Sheriff also warns that you better not miss the phone call that gives you the actual time of the lock-out. If you do miss the phone call, there will be no eviction, so start your case over.  What’s worse, you may have to stay by the phone for more than one day waiting for the Sheriff to call to give you a definite date and time.  And that applies to the locksmith or your maintenance technician as well.  Don’t forget that you’re expected to have access to the unit with either master keys, or a locksmith to quickly change the locks in the Sheriff’s presence.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to call our office, we look forward to hearing from you.