Landlord - Tenants
To remove a tenant(s) from a rental property, a landlord can file a forcible entry and detainer action in the Clerk’s Office. In the first part of a forcible entry and detainer actions (an eviction), a magistrate determines who is entitled to possession of the property (the landlord or tenant) and whether a writ of restitution should be issued by the court. In the other part of a forcible entry and detainer action (the second cause), a magistrate determines if the landlord is entitled to recover damages from the tenant(s), and if so, how much in money damages. Eviction hearings are held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings in Room 715 of the Stubbs Justice Center. Second cause hearings, when necessary, are typically heard after a tenant(s) leaves the rental property. Magistrates hear second causes on Monday through Thursday afternoons in Room 715 of the Stubbs Justice Center.
A tenant(s) who feels his or her landlord is not living up to State law or terms of a rental agreement can, after adequate notice of the perceived problem(s) to the landlord, file a rent escrow case in the Clerk’s office. After a rent escrow case is filed, the tenant(s) pays rent to the Court instead of to the landlord until the case is resolved. During a rent escrow case, the amount of rent due may be reduced and the landlord can ask the court to release some of the rent for repairs. Magistrates hear rent escrow cases in Room 715 of the Stubbs Justice Center.
CDC Eviction Moratorium Effective September 4, 2020:
On September 1, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ordered an eviction moratorium and is in effect through December 31, 2020. The moratorium applies solely to residential properties and does not include foreclosure on mortgages. Residential property is property leased for residential purposes and includes a house, building, mobile home or land in a mobile home park, or similar dwelling. It does not include any hotel, motel, or other guest house rented to a temporary guest or seasonal tenant. A landlord is the owner of a property or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action. A covered person is a tenant, lessee, or resident of a residential property. Eviction is any action by a landlord to remove or cause to be removed a covered person from a residential property.
For all details pertaining to this order, please click here.
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Eligible covered person(s) include:
- Individuals who qualified for a stimulus check under the CARES Act based on their annual income and
- would become homeless or be caused to live in close quarters with other individuals if evicted.
A covered person must certify by submitting a signed, sworn statement, also known as a Declaration Form, to their landlord the following:
- The covered person has used their best efforts to obtain available government assistance for rent or housing;
- The covered person was eligible to receive an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) under the CARES Act, or has an annual of no more than $99,000 for an individual, or $198,000 for a family;
- The covered person is not able to pay the full rent due to substantial loss of income, wages, or hours, or because of extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses (unreimbursed medical expenses exceeding 7.5% of tenant’s actual gross income for the year);
- The covered person is using their best efforts to make partial rent payments;
- The covered person has no other available housing options and if evicted, would need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters, or would have to move into a homeless shelter; and
- The covered understands that they will still have to pay rent and fees, and comply with their lease. The unpaid rent may be required by the housing provider in full once the temporary eviction moratorium expires on December 31, 2020.
The CDC Order also provides the following penalties:
- Any person violating the order is subject to a fine of not more than $100,000.00 if the violation does not result in a death or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000.00 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law.
- An organization violating this order is subject to a fine of no more than $200,000.00 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000.00 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law.
Any eviction filing where a Declaration Form has been properly served will be dismissed. Landlords and Covered Persons are encouraged to seek legal advice as to any questions they may have about the CDC Order and the Declaration Form. The Court is prohibited from giving legal advice.