The Eviction Process in Court

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on October 23, 2008 under Eviction | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

If a situation with a tenant can’t be resolved without legal action, and after the proper notices are given and time periods according to state law have passed, a landlord may then file an eviction lawsuit with the court. This is a process that takes care and attention to detail, and is probably best handled by an attorney.

Filing Eviction Documents

  • The landlord files the correct eviction papers with the court
  • Proper documents are delivered (served) to the tenant according to the law
  • In most areas, the tenant then has a chance to answer

Tenant’s Response

  • The time allowed for the tenant to answer will be stated in the law, and varies according to the state and the reason for eviction.
  • The tenant’s answer must be in the proper format according to the law, and they may choose to also hire an attorney to prepare those documents.
  • They may raise a defense that they should not be evicted, and stating the reason.

Default Judgment

  • If the tenant does not answer, the court will enter a default judgment for eviction (as long as the landlord can show that the court papers were properly served on the tenant).
  • A tenant may request that default judgment be set aside, if they can prove a good reason why they did not answer within the time period allowed.

Court Hearing or Trial

  • If the tenant raises a valid defense, the case will be set for a hearing or trial based on the facts.
  • The landlord will need to produce all the evidence showing the reasons for the eviction.
  • The court will then rule whether the tenant should be evicted.
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