California Civil Code Section 1861a

1861a. Keepers of furnished and unfurnished apartment houses, apartments, cottages, or bungalow courts shall have a lien upon the baggage and other property of value belonging to their tenants or guests, and upon all the right, title and interest of their tenants or guests in and to all property in the possession of such tenants or guests which may be in such apartment house, apartment, cottage, or bungalow court, for the proper charges due from such tenants or guests, for their accommodation, rent, services, meals, and such extras as are furnished at their request, and for all moneys expended for them, at their request, and for the costs of enforcing such lien.

Such lien may be enforced only after final judgment in an action brought to recover such charges or moneys. During the pendency of the proceeding, the plaintiff may take possession of such baggage and property upon an order issued by the court, where it appears to the satisfaction of the court from an affidavit filed by or on behalf of the plaintiff that the baggage or property is about to be destroyed, substantially devalued, or removed from the premises. Ten days written notice of the hearing on the motion for such order shall be served on the defendant and shall inform the defendant that the defendant may file affidavits on the defendant s behalf and present testimony in the defendant s behalf and that if the defendant fails to appear the plaintiff will apply to the court for such order. The plaintiff shall file an undertaking with good and sufficient sureties, to be approved by the court, in such sum as may be fixed by the court.

Upon such order, the plaintiff shall have the right to enter peaceably the unfurnished apartment house, apartment, cottage, or bungalow court used by the guest or tenant without liability to the guest or tenant, including any possible claim of liability for conversion, trespass, or forcible entry. The plaintiff shall have the same duties and liabilities as a depository for hire as to property which the plaintiff takes into possession. An entry shall be considered peaceable when accomplished with a key or passkey or through an unlocked door during the hours between sunrise and sunset. Unless the judgment shall be paid within 30 days from the date when it becomes final, the plaintiff may sell the baggage and property, at public auction to the highest bidder, after giving notice of such sale by publication of a notice containing the name of the debtor, the amount due, a brief description of the property to be sold, and the time and place of such sale, pursuant to Section 6064 of the Government Code in the county in which said apartment house, apartment, cottage, or bungalow court is situated, and after by mailing, at least 15 days prior to the date of sale, a copy of such notice addressed to such tenant or guest at the residence or other known address of the tenant or guest, and if not known, such notice shall be addressed to the tenant or guest at the place where such apartment house, apartment, cottage, or bungalow court is situated; and, after satisfying such lien out of the proceeds of such sale, together with any reasonable costs, that may have been incurred in enforcing said lien, the residue of said proceeds of sale, if any, shall, upon demand made within six months after such sale, be paid to such tenant or guest; and if not demanded within six months from the date of such sale, said residue, if any, shall be paid into the treasury of the county in which such sale took place; and if the same be not claimed by the owner thereof, or the owner s legal representative within one year thereafter, it shall be paid into the general fund of the county; and such sale shall be a perpetual bar to any action against said keeper for the recovery of such baggage or property, or of the value thereof, or for any damages, growing out of the failure of such tenant or guest to receive such baggage or property.

When the baggage and property are not in the possession of the keeper as provided herein, such lien shall be enforced only in the manner provided for enforcement of a money judgment.

Any property which is exempt from enforcement of a money judgment is not subject to the lien provided for in this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 497, Sec. 10. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 185 of Ch. 497.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016