What Happens at an Eviction Hearing?

The courts are designed to protect the tenant and landlord in the event of an eviction hearing. An eviction hearing takes place so that an un-bias third party, a judge in this case, can decide what should happen. The whole process is designed to give the tenant a chance to be heard. Although it may be intimidating, the hearing is generally simple.


Find the court clerk on duty and sign in. The court room where you are being heard will have others there also waiting their turn. Usually there is a general schedule of times. You should talk one last time with your landlord to see if the hearing can still be avoided. A mediator can be provided by the court. If an agreement is reached when it's your turn the landlord will notify the judge.

Landlord Speaks

When the case is called, the landlord speaks first. Proof of proper ownership of the property and legal proceeding documentation must be shown for evidence you were given advance warning. The landlord then states the reasons for the eviction order. After the landlord has finished you will have a chance to ask the landlord questions concerning what was just said to the judge. This must only be concerning the actual eviction reason and nothing else.

Read More: Reasons to Sue Your Landlord

You Speak

Next you are given a chance to explain why rent hasn't been paid or why damage was done to the property. Use this chance to explain the circumstances; for example, having lost a job but you have a new one. If there was damage, explain what you did to fix the problem. The judge wants to hear from your side to determine if the eviction has merit. The landlord will then have a chance to question you.

Judges Decision

After hearing both sides the judge will make his decision to either grant or deny the landlord's eviction. If the judge decides in favor of eviction, you will be given notice of the date by which you must leave the property. The judge may also provide a "Writ of assistance" if it is felt the tenant will refuse to move out. That gives the landlord the ability to call the police after that time.

Other Alternatives

If an agreement was reached before you are called. Wait till the case is called to make sure the landlord confirms this agreement with the judge. If you are not there, and the landlord does not mention the agreement, the judge can rule against you. If you do lose and get an order of eviction against you there is still one last thing that can be done: file an appeal in writing within 10 days.

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