In Stancil v. Superior Court, the Supreme Court today cuts back on a method tenants have used to obtain what the court calls “a potential reprieve” from the expedited eviction procedure.  The court holds that a tenant may contest an unlawful detainer proceeding with a motion to quash service of summons only in “rare and limited circumstances.”  Usually, an answer to the complaint is the right way to go.

The court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar concludes the motion to quash isn’t appropriate “to dispute the truth of the allegations contained in an unlawful detainer complaint.”  Instead, it is “a limited procedural tool to contest personal jurisdiction over the defendant where the statutory requirements for service of process are not fulfilled.”

The court affirms the First District, Division Four, Court of Appeal, which had summarily denied the tenant’s writ petition.