In Los Angeles County, jury trials are routinely demanded in unlawful detainer actions by tenants. However, in order to preserve your right to a jury trial, a tenant (or landlord) must demand a jury trial either (1) when the case is first set for trial or (2) within five days after notice of the trial setting. Generally, in Los Angeles County, the Landlord files a Request to Set Case for Trial, and the Court on its own will schedule the trial date and mail notice to all parties. The rules for unlawful detainer in requesting a jury trial are different than requesting a jury trial in an unlimited civil action.
If you intend to have a jury trial, you should be aware of these deadlines. If you fail to make a timely demand for a jury trial, then it is considered a waiver of such right to jury trial.
If there is a fee waiver that includes the deposit for a jury trial, then the person requesting such jury trial does not have to pay jury fees. If there is no fee waiver, jury fees must be posted when making the demand for a jury trial.
If you are landlord facing a jury trial requested by a tenant, then these deadlines are important to ensure that a jury trial was properly demanded. Often times I find that a landlord representing himself should consider speaking to an attorney if a tenant has made such demand.
Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220 if you are facing an unlawful detainer jury trial or will need to file an unlwful detainer against a tenant.