How do I start an eviction process?

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How do I start an eviction process?

Do I have do file in city/county where property is located?

Asked on July 8, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

My research suggests that in IN, the first step in the eviction process is to serve (i.e. deliver) to the tenant a "Notice to Quit". In the case of non-payment of rent (the most common breach), it will be a 10 day notice which must be served according to state law (see below). 

If the tenant continues on the premises after being served notice to vacate, then the landlord will need to go to the small claims court for the jurisdiction where the property is located. The clerk will give the landlord the forms to fill out to file a "Complaint for Eviction" (there will be a filing fee). The clerk will then set a court date, which will be delivered to the tenant (a "summons"). The court date will be more than 5 days from the time the summons is delivered to the tenant.

This hearing is to determine who is entitled to possession of the property; if the tenant owes the landlord money, then that is addressed at a second hearing.

If the court orders the tenant vacate by a certain date but the tenant fails to do so, then the landlord must go back to the court clerk and report this. The court clerk will then have the Sheriff serve a "Notice to Vacate" on the tenant which usually gives them 24 hours to leave. If the tenant is still there after the 24 hours, the sheriff will physically remove the tenant (and the landlord will have to remove the tenant's belongings). 

The laws governing landlord tenant matters are in Article 31 of Title 32 of the Indiana Code. If you still have questions, you may want to consult with a local attorney who handles landlord-tenant cases.


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