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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34524
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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I was served with an ejectment in Palm Beach County. Should

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I was served with an ejectment in Palm Beach County. Should I even bother to submit a response? I have no place to go, I was hoping to stall the process until after tax season (I just started working for a CPA & want to save up some money, so I WILL have someplace to go, I'm only asking for 3 and 1/2 mos.). I'm a 35-yr.-old female, and the man ejecting me is a dirty old man who's angry that a relationship never developed between the two of us. I've lived here for over 4 years. For over a year now, when he gets angry and verbally abusive, he would scream at me to get out. The next day, he would act as if nothing happened, even aplogize sometimes. I thought this was another one of those scenarios, until I was served with the papers. He never even sat down and talked to me. I would have paid rent, if he'd asked. Anything I can do?
Are you in a lease or is this a month to month rental?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He holds the mortgage, there is no lease. I cooked, provided child care, mowed the lawn, did laundry, shopping, etc. in exchange for living here. That's why it was an ejectment, not an eviction...


You can fight this, but the court will likely rule on the side of the property owner unless you can prove improper conduct on his part. From your description I do not believe you will have this. Regardless, you will have a tough time dragging this out more than a few week...I suspect that 3+ months would be very difficult to achieve.

From the statute

The defendant has 20 consecutive calendar days from the date the Sheriff’s Office served the defendant to file a response to the petition. You should receive a copy of the service affidavit from the Sheriff’s Office indicating what day the summons was served. If the defendant is not served the case cannot proceed

SO it may be time to look for a new place

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Right, but would it be in my best interest to file the response, or to NOT file it? What will happen next, in each scenario? And does it not matter that I have proof of making mortgage payments, in the past? I can't seem to find much information about this online.

If you respond, the train keeps a rollin...and a trial date will be set.

It will not matter much that you have paid in the past...a property owner has the right to determine who lives in his property as long as he makes this determination in a legal if he was kicking you out because you complained of no heat, this could be considered retaliatory eviction and may be a valid defense. But unless you can show that he is ejecting you for an improper reason, it is unlikely you will prevail

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If a trial date is set, who pays the court costs?
Typically the filing party will pay, but they can ask the court for the defendant to pay and the court can grant this request.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My response is supposed to be in Monday. If I don't submit one, how long do I have to get my belongings out of the house?
If you do not submit, the owner can petition the court for default this could happen as soon as he can get into court...I suspect a week or less. Then there will be the order that will be given to the sheriff...then a day or so later the sheriff will be at the door

I would say you have a week or less

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Does that cost him money? How much time will I have if I DO submit a response?
Really the timeline is not so much different. If you respond the court has to set for trial, this may take 2 weeks, but really will depend on the court calender. They will not drag this out much nor will you be able to continue for long at all.

We will have to pay to file and serve, the cost is nominal and if you have a response it is likely he has already paid

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks. XXXXX get a transcript of this?

Not sure, But I will send to the admin folks who can let you know

Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the green accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.   

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Okay. Sorry, just one more thing... If I DO submit a response, they will schedule a hearing. If I don't show for the hearing, that's just default judgement for the homeowner, correct? No repercussions for me?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Are you there?
You would have a judgment against you unless you leave.

This judgment could show up on your credit report, so that is one consideration. If there is never a case, there would not be a judgment

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