What Happens at a Second Cause Hearing

The tenant filed an answer or answer and counterclaim...now what happens?

At the Hearing for the Second Cause of Action bring evidence and witnesses with you to this hearing to prove your claim or counterclaim. Evidence is not accepted by the magistrate outside of the hearing, so it is important to bring whatever witnesses and evidence that you have to prove your case to your hearing.


If you are claiming damage to property, be prepared to testify and provide evidence about the condition of the property when the tenant moved in, and the damage to the property that you believe was caused by the tenant.


Be prepared to testify about the condition of the property when you moved in and when you moved out. If things were broken or damaged but you didn’t cause them to be broken or damaged, tell this to the magistrate. Tenants are not responsible for ordinary wear and tear. Bring receipts for all rent and utilities paid if unpaid rent or utilities is part of the claim against you.

What to Bring With You to Court

  • “Physical documents” relevant to your counterclaims such as: Rent receipts, security deposit receipts, utility receipts, your lease or rental agreement, letters between you and your landlord, inspection notices, code violation notices, and any receipts you may have for supplies you used to make repairs. Bring the originals and copies to leave with the court.

  • Photographs relevant to your claims or counterclaims, such as photos of the conditions of your apartment or repairs that need to be made. If photos are on your phone, print them out. Magistrates will not look at photos or video stored on a cell phone because the evidence presented in court is retained for court records. Bring copies that you will leave with the court.

  • Witnesses who have actually seen the things or actually heard the conversations that you are testifying about at trial.