The EDC provides legal assistance to people who are in legal proceedings for eviction in San Francisco. This legal assistance includes guidance in the legal process of evictions, help in preparing papers for people to file in court, possible referrals to other legal resources, hands-on guidance during the settlement conference, and detailed coaching to prepare for a trial. The EDC doesn't provide the services of a lawyer; clients act as their own lawyer. The EDC charges a sliding scale fee for its services and payment plans are possible. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. We also provide a self help packet for people who need to respond to a Summons and are unable to use the EDC's services because of time or other constraints. The EDC can provide help for people living outside of San Francisco, but many of the services are limited.
If you receive a Summons and/or Complaint for Unlawful Detainer (eviction lawsuit), you have 5 calendar days to respond or the landlord can ask for a default judgment and you will lose your chance to contest the eviction. Every day counts! To receive help filing a response you need to bring the Summons and Complaint and as much documentation you have to the EDC for help at our drop-in clinic. After an intake an appointment will be made for you to come back to review the prepared papers and receive instructions on how to file the papers in court. You take the papers to court to file.
If you have received a notice from the Sheriff to vacate the premises, the EDC may be able to help you ask the court for an order to stay (delay) the eviction for a week. You must be prepared to pay a week's rent. Currently evictions are scheduled to take place Wednesday or Thursday and the hearings for the stay take place on Tuesday. It is best to come to the EDC the week before the eviction so you can pick up the stay motion Tuesday morning, receive instructions on how to file the motion at court, and take it to the court.