Filing an Eviction Case in Court
After a landlord has served an eviction notice to a tenant, they can initiate a court case for eviction (and damages).
In most cases, the filing process for a court claim is:
- Prepare and file case initiation paperwork in court (including coversheets and summons where required by the court). Example form.
- Get a stamped summons from the court clerk
- Serve the defendant (the tenant) the summons and file a proof of service in court
After the case is filed and served, the defendant (tenant) has a certain amount of time to file a "response" to the case. A response is where the defendant indicates whether they accept the claim and immediately lose, or they dispute the claim and will contest it. They usually have 5 - 10 days to do this, depending on the state.
If the tenant gets a lawyer, this will also be indicated in their response.
Filing for default judgement if the tenant does not respond
In some cases, the tenant may not respond at all within the allowed time. This may be relatively common depending on the type of dispute and sophistication or desire to contest the case of the tenant.
The physical eviction
If the landlord wins the eviction case (after a trial or by default), they can finally obtain a writ of possession form which is an order from the court to the sheriff to assist the landlord in taking physical posession of the property.