as of Dec 29th I filed with the courts a notice of eviction. the court officer will not be returning back to the courts until Jan 4 2011. the court informed us that there is a possibility that the order of eviction will be given to the tenant until that date! The tenant was told to vacate or pay by the 28th of Dec by the judge. They still have not moved or payed the courts so we filed the eviction on the 29th. Once the eviction is served can we change the locks and take back possession at that time? legally once the eviction is served by the court officer can we remove any contents left behind/change locks etc.... Detroit Michigan area
State/Country relating to Question: Michigan
If you have served them with a 7 day notice to pay and they have not done so, then you would file an eviction complaint with the court. The complaint then has to be served on the tenant letting them know when the court date for the eviction hearing is. Once it is served, they then would have the opportunity to show up for court and make any arguments they may have for not being evicted.
Assuming they have no valid arguements, the court would then award a judgment of eviction to the landlord and set a date that the tenant must vacate by (usually 10 days). The tenant is then served a copy of the order by court personnel. If the tenant doesn't vacate, the landlord can get an order of eviction and have the sheriff forcibly remove the tenant and their belongings.
But a landlord can not use "self help" remedies such as changing the locks and taking possession before they obtain a legal judgment from the court and the time to vacate has expired. If the landlord does so, he can be sued for unlawful eviction.
So the short answer is no, you can't change the locks and retake possession after the tenant is served with the complaint.
before i end our conversation just to follow up we have done the 7day notice to pay or quit went to court on Dec 19th the judge told tenant to pay by the 28th of Dec or vacate as of the 29th the tenant didnt pay and is still in unit. went to court on the 29th judge signed eviction but court officer is out for the holidays and he is the only officer that can serve evictions in our city. we were told we have to wait til jan 4th 2011 and the officer will contact us as to when the eviction will be served. can he just serve the eviction papers and we remove belongings or do we have to go to the courts again and follow another step? Please bare with us this is all new luckly we have never had to evict anyone!
Ok, you are a little further along than I had initially thought. If you have already gotten an order of eviction, then the only thing left to do is to have the court officer (usually sheriff or constable) serve the order and then you can legally have them physically remove them if they are still in possession of the property. You can then also remove any property they have in the unit.
So as soon as the sheriff or constable serves the tenant, they can be removed the same day.
12 yrs practice, Realtor, Landlord 23+ yrs
thank you and happy newyear.....
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).