Community of property extends to unlawful detainer in the State of California.

There is currently a belief in the Riverside Superior Court that the co-defendant in an unlawful detainer case who is also a joint title holder with community of property is not required to be served and that the other community of property holder does not have standing to point out that fact and that this minor fact does not affect the entire action an unlawful detainer complaint which REQUIRES service of all parties listed in the unlawful detainer complaint.

The CA legislature specifically allows any community of property holder to take action on behalf of the other half of the community of property thus defining that anyone associated with that community of property through a marriage does have standing to point out the jurisdictional issues of a lack of service. That action does not extend to executing any instrument without the permission of the other property title holder, confirming that the intent of the legislature is to view each half of the property as belonging to each spouse or ex-spouse and that they are considered separate and apart as it relates to possession and title of said property.

CA family code § 1102 subdivision (a) specifies that “Except as provided in Sections 761 and 1103, either spouse has the management and control of the community real property,whether acquired prior to or on or after January 1, 1975, but both spouses, either personally or by a duly authorized agent, must join in executing any instrument by which that community real property or any interest therein is leased for a longer period than one year, or is sold, conveyed, or encumbered.

Any unlawful detainer case is jurisdictional depending upon a “PROPER” proof of service. In American Express centurion Bank v. Robert V. Zara (2011) 199 Cal. App. 4th 383; 131 Cal. Rptr. 3d 99; the court found that actual notice was not a proper substitute for lack of service in order to confer personal jurisdiction to the respondent, confirming that proper service is a mandatory requirement in order to attach jurisdiction of a defendant to a case. “[C]ompliance with the statutory procedures for service of process is essential to establish personal jurisdiction. [Citation.]  As explained in Ellard v. Conway (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 540, 544 [114 Cal.Rptr.2d 399]: “`[A] default judgment entered against a defendant who was not served with a summons in the manner prescribed by statute is void. [Citation.]’ [Citation.] Under section 473, subdivision (d), the court may set aside a default judgment which is valid on its face, but void, as a matter of law, due to improper service. [Citations.]” (Accord, Sakaguchi v. Sakaguchi (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 852, 858 [92 Cal.Rptr.3d 717].)

Minor matters such as jurisdictional attachment to a case don’t apply in the Riverside Superior Court.


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