I was just served with court eviction papers - what do I do?
If your landlord wants to evict you, he or she must file a court case against you called an “unlawful detainer.” The landlord must have someone serve you (give you) the court papers called a “Summons” and “Complaint.”
You, the tenant, only have 5 calendar days after the date you received the court papers to respond to the court.
To count the 5 calendar days, start counting with the day after you received the papers. You must count Saturdays and Sundays, but you don’t count court holidays. If the fifth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or court holiday you have until the end of the next court business day to file a response with the court.
If you want to defend yourself in the eviction, it is important that you file a response (called an “answer”) on time. If you have not filed a response by the end of the 5 days, the landlord can ask the court for a “default judgment.” This means that the landlord automatically wins the case and gets the rental property back from you. If this happens, you will not get a chance to go in front of the court and tell the court your side of the story.
Tenants often have defenses to eviction cases. Contact us to learn more about the eviction court process and possible defenses to the eviction.