Eviction Process

Author: Todd Christiansen | Category: Eviction Law

This applies to Minnesota Only. Many complicated issues have been simplified. It is neither professional nor legal advice. Get competent eviction help.

Who May Sign the Eviction Complaint?

  • Property owner or designated property manager
  • Attorney for property owner
  • Person entitled to possession of the property such as a bank or new owner
  • Agent designated by property owner (Agent must file a Power of Authority in Eviction Action with the court at the time of filing the Complaint), typically used by eviction services.

Filling out the Eviction Forms (Complaint):

  • A Complaint must be filed with the court stating:
    • Full name and date of birth of the tenant(s), unless not known
      • you must evict all residents by naming each adult resident whether or not named in the lease (use “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” if necessary)
      • you can not evict only the “bad” tenant, all parties on the lease must be on the eviction complaint
    • Full address (or other description if no address) of the premises of which the landlord seeks to recover
    • Facts which authorize recovery of possession, such as lease violations or non-payment of rent
    • Request for recovery (this is the legal request to get the property back)
  • The landlord must show compliance with Minn. Stat. § 504B.181 by:
    • Landlord must (1) disclose in writing to the tenant and (2) post in a conspicuous place on the premises the name and address of:
      • The person authorized to manage the premises, and
      • Landlord or agent authorized to accept service of process and receive and give receipt for notices and demands, OR
    • Tenant must have been aware of this information at least 30 days prior to filing the action (typically given to tenant on lease documents).
  • The landlord must pay the court filing fee.

Summons

  • The Summons is a written eviction issued by the court informing the defendant/tenant that a legal action has been filed and will be heard on a specific day.
  • The Summons must be served at least 7 days before the court date, and proof of service must be filed with the court within the time required.

Serving the Summons and Complaint

  • Without proper service upon the tenant, the court may throw out the case and the landlord may have to start over and pay all of the fees again.  I recommend you use a process server, which is a neutral third party, typically a legal courier company.
  • Personal service
    • Must be served by a person that is not a party to the eviction (Not Named)
    • Can not be served on a Sunday or legal holiday
  • Substitute Service
    • If the tenant will not answer the door or can not be found, service may be made at the property to someone who lives there, who is of suitable age (typically 16+).
  • If the personal or substitute service was successful, the process server will file a  notarized document with the court called an Affidavit of Service.  This must be done within the time line specified in the complaint.
  • There are other ways to serve the complain and summons such as mail and post.
    • If the personal or substitute service was attempted on two different days with one of those days being after 6pm, but before 10pm, the summons and complaint can be posted to the door and mailed to the tenant at the last known address.  This process requires additional notarized Affidavit’s to be filed at the court to be considered done properly.

At the Eviction Hearing

  • It is the landlords responsibility (burden) to show that he is entitled to regain possession of the premises.  This hearing is NOT to recover any past due rent.  Proof must be shown by witnesses, statements, photographs or payment records.  Typically non-payment of rent can be validated by a monthly statement that is mailed to the tenant.
  • The tenant must be able to defend their actions in court.  A court appointed mediator may help the parties reach an agreement.  Some tenants may get free legal help from legal aid or other parties.

Eviction Notices

  • Most people think of the complaint as the eviction notice, but actually, if the landlord wins the case, he may be able to request a Writ of Recovery and Order to Vacate from the court.  There is an additional cost for this.  The county sheriff will then serve the eviction notice on the tenant, giving them 24 hours to vacate the premises or be removed by the sheriff.  Typically, if the tenant has children, the court will allow the tenant up to 7 days to find new housing.
  • If the tenant refuses to vacate the property within 24 hours, the landlord must schedule a move-out date with the sheriff.  At that time, the sheriff will remove the tenant, if necessary, and the landlord legally can lock the tenant out of their former unit, under penalty of trespassing.  The landlord may store the tenant’s personal property on the premises or use a licensed and bonded moving company to remove and store at another location.

Evicting your tenant is not difficult, but it requires that you follow all the legal rules to the letter, otherwise you may be required to start over.

One Response to “Eviction Process”

  1. Without proper service upon the tenant, the court may throw out the case and the landlord may have to start over and pay all of the fees again.