How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask rayanswers Your Own Question
rayanswers, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 42205
Experience:  30 years as a Texas lawyer dealing in landlord tenant
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
rayanswers is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm getting ready to file with the courts my unlawful

Customer Question

I'm getting ready to file with the courts my unlawful detainer notices, summons and complaint. Tenant has until 5pm today to respond. Do I have to wait until tomorrow to file? Also, when I file (WA State/Snohomish County), do I ask the clerk/court at that time for a Show Cause Hearing and Writ of Restitution?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Washington State, Snohomish County
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: It is a month to month. There has been no issues related to maintenance or upkeep (your speaking on the Landlord's responsibility end, correct?). Renters have not paid rent since February. We served a 3-day pay or vacate and a 20 day notice to terminate (effective May 31st) and have process served the summons and complaint. They have until today at 5pm to respond. This is our second attempt, as the first attempt we messed up on not giving them enough copies of notice and not enough days to respond to summons and complaint. They are clearly squatting and working the system. I am just a single rental property owner and need to get them out. Trying to avoid attorney costs, since I'm losing so much as it is on no rent.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They may say there are maintenance issues, but I've asked several times for them to list any issues in writing and they have not sent anything to landlord. In their response to first attempt, they made no mention of anything other than service not done correctly and they proposed (not to be filed with court) moving out on May 5th, paying $150/mo for back rent and (graciously) leaving the landscaping they have done since living there. They've lived there since 2015. They are not upkeeping the lawn, home, have animals (in expired lease, that has not turned to a month to month, they are not to have any animals.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

Call clerk in the am tomorrow and ask for hearing on your suit and write of restitution here.You will appear and get order of eviction/restitution and then have it served and the person forcefully evicted by the sheriff/constable.

Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

This is the form you use to serve the eviction/write you get from the court.

Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

Law here for reference

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Good luck in court.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I must file the notices, summons and complaint first, correct?
Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

Yes sorry thought you had done that already.Clerk has the forms where you file.

Here is step by step for the writ once you get it

Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

Here are the forms to file your eviction suit and serve them

Expert:  rayanswers replied 4 months ago.

Step by step, step one was the notice you sent.

Step 2. Initiating the Eviction Litigation – The Summons and Complaint

If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, the next step in the eviction is to initiate litigation. This is done by serving the tenant with a summons and complaint. The tenant must answer the summons by the deadline specified, generally about 7-10 days from the date of service. Because the landlord is a party to the action, the landlord may not serve the summons and complaint.

Step 3. Default or a Show Cause Hearing

A. Default

If there is no response to the summons and complaint relief may be obtained from the court by default without notice to the tenant. In Washington a defendant, including a tenant, does not have to do a lot to appear. Even a phone call could be treated as an appearance.


B. The Show Cause Hearing

If the tenant makes an appearance, even an informal one, a hearing is required. The tenant must be given notice of the hearing. The tenant must show cause at this hearing as to why the landlord is not entitled to possession and a judgment for rent immediately, i.e. without the need for a trial. (Unless service was by alternative means with the court’s permission, in which case the landlord is only entitled to possession but not a judgment.)

The landlord or property manager must attend the hearing.

The show cause order may be served at the time the summons and complaint are served or any time afterwards. If the tenant responds to an unfiled summons, a show cause hearing must be set to continue the eviction process. Because of this tenant right to “automatically” delay the eviction process consider serving the show cause order with the summons and complaint.

Step 4. The Sheriff Steps In

After the writ of restitution is obtained, whether by default or at the show cause hearing, the sheriff will serve it. The tenant will have three business days to vacate, not including the day of service.

If the tenant does not vacate the premises in this time-frame you must contact the sheriff’s civil department and arrange a physical eviction.