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Unlawful Detainer / Evictions

Unlawful Detainer 

Unlawful Detainer (Eviction) Video

We provide this helpful video to both landlords and tenants interested in learning more about the court process of an eviction. It includes information about settling your case without having to go to court. 

The full video is about 15 minutes long. Click here to watch the video

Notice of Termination

The Unlawful Detainer (eviction) lawsuit begins when the landlord gives a Notice of Termination to the tenant. The Notice will state the reason for the eviction (e.g., nonpayment of rent, lease violation) and may ask the tenant to fix the problem. 

Summons and Complaint

If the tenant does not comply with what the landlord is asking in the Notice, the landlord begins the court process by filing a Summons and Complaint and having someone serve (i.e., give a copy to) the tenant. 

Default and Lockout

At this point, the tenant has only five (5) business days to file an Answer or responsive motion.  If the tenant does nothing, the landlord can go to court and obtain a Default Judgment against him.  After a default judgment, the tenant no longer has the ability to fight the landlord’s allegations or assert legal rights. The landlord can also start the process that ends in the sheriff’s locking out the tenant. 

Mandatory Settlement Conference, Court and Judgment

If the tenant responds within five business days, the landlord typically sets the case for trial, and a Mandatory Settlement Conference will be scheduled.  This conference gives parties the opportunity to resolve their lawsuit in a way that satisfies both sides, without trial.  For a list of common issues that may be discussed at this conference, please click here.   If the parties cannot resolve their differences at this conference, the case proceeds to Trial.  If the landlord wins, she gains possession of the premises and the tenant must leave.  If the tenant wins, she is allowed to stay in the unit and pay rent.

For detailed information on the eviction process, please visit the following websites: 

Do It Yourself

We have an online form preparation program available that will ask you to answer questions that are used to complete the forms needed to file an Unlawful Detainer/Eviction Complaint or Answer. This program will also allow you to print out all the completed necessary forms.



Answer (Alternate link)

If you would like the Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator's Office to review your forms before you file, then do not make copies until after the Center has reviewed your documents.

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