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The first thing to do is to serve notice to the resident.  After the appropriate number of days have passed, you can complete the Complaint and Summons forms to file for eviction.

Note: Please look at the eviction criteria to see if you have what you need to file for eviction.

Once all forms are completed, the following steps need to occur:

  1. Serve Notice to the resident.  Unless you have cause for an immediate eviction, you must give the resident a proper amount of notice to either correct the issue.  Notices can be served many ways.
  2. Make copies of the Summons and Complaint. You will need multiple copies of each set of documents: 1 - clerk of the court, 1 - each tenant, 1 - each landlord, 1 - process server, 1 - you
    1. Copies need to be one sided.
    2. If the residence has 3 tenants, you will need to give 3 copies for their records.
  3. File the original documents at the counter of the Justice Courthouse that has jurisdiction over where the residence is located.  Unless the amount owed is over $10,000; these are filed at Superior Court.  Bring the extra copies, so that the clerk can stamp them as being "conformed."  When you file, you will also have to pay the current fees.
    1. Make sure you get all but one set back for the process server and your records
    2. Filing in the wrong location will result in a dismissal
  4. Serve the court papers using a certified process server.
    1. Papers may be delivered by the Sheriff's Department, by a licensed process server, or local constable.  Most courthouses have a list of process servers that they will share when asked.
  5. Wait to see if the tenant files an Answer or Counterclaim prior to the court date.
    1. If the tenant files a Counterclaim before the court date a Reply may be filed before the court date.
  6. Attend the court hearing.
    1. Be on time
    2. Dress neatly
    3. Be prepared to tell the judge why they should grant you an eviction and how much is owed by the tenant
      1. Know what was violated in the lease agreement
      2. Have a detailed list of expenses
      3. If the tenant has filed a Counterclaim be prepared to defend your Reply
  7. Judgment is most often given at the hearing.  Once a judgment is entered
    1. If the court does NOT rule in your favor, retaliation is not allowed and can bring further legal procedures.
    2. If the court rules in your favor, the tenant has 5 days to file an Appeal, unless it is an immediate eviction action.  In these instances, the tenant has just 24 hours.

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