Bailiff services eviction
TO: Property Owners and Plaintiffs’ Attorneys
DATE: November 26, 2018
SUBJECT: Delay of Service Due to Safety/Security Issues Regarding Eviction Process
This advisory is an effort to inform property owners and attorneys about service issues in eviction cases.
As you are aware, the Court must serve a summons, which acts as legal notice to the defendant that a Forcible Entry and Detainer Complaint has been filed and the eviction process has started. The summons must be served at least seven (7) days before the trial date. The Bailiffs will either personally deliver or post the summons in a conspicuous place on the premises. If there is not proper service, the Court does not have jurisdiction over the eviction action. Lack of service or improper service not only delays the trial date for the first cause for eviction, it is also a defense to the eviction action.
Service is just as important after the first cause in the eviction action is adjudicated and the plaintiff requests the Court issue a Writ of Execution. The Bailiff has up to ten (10) days after receipt of the Writ of Execution to execute the Writ (move out).
Proper and complete service to defendants on Forcible Entry and Detainer actions and Writs of Execution is becoming more difficult due to Plaintiffs’ failure to provide information. Common problems encountered by the Court Bailiff which result in no service or delayed service are:
- LOCKED BUILDINGS WITH NO LOCK BOX PRESENT OR NO CODE PROVIDED.
- INACCURATE ADDRESS.
- ADDRESS OF BUILDING AFFIXED ON THE PROPERTY IS NOT VISIBLE, IS MISSING OR UNCLEAR.
- MULTI UNIT BUILDINGS WHERE THE APARTMENT OR UNIT NUMBER IS NOT VISIBLE, OR IS MISSING OR UNCLEAR.
- NO POINT OF CONTACT INFORMATION, OR INCORRECT INFORMATION ON THE AREA CODE AND PHONE NUMBER.
- VICIOUS ANIMALS PRESENT ON PREMISES, WITH NO ADVANCE WARNING OR SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS.
In addition, please note the following may result in the delay or interruption in the “move out” phase of the eviction process:
- UNDISCLOSED WEAPONS PRESENT ON THE PREMISES.
- CONFLICTS AMONG FAMILY MEMBERS, USUALLY AS A RESULT OF A FAMILY MEMBER EVICTING ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER.
- VICIOUS OR DANGEROUS ANIMALS PRESENT ON THE PREMISES SUCH AS DOGS, OR REPTILES AND INSECTS THAT COULD BE VENOMOUS.
- CORRECT PREMISES NOT IDENTIFIABLE DUE TO APARTMENT/UNIT NUMBER OR LETTER MISSING.
- ACTIVE DRUG SALES OR USE.
- INDICATION OF MENTAL IMPAIRMENT OF TENANT(S).
- VIOLENT BEHAVIOR OF TENANT(S).
- INFESTATION OF PESTS SUCH AS BED BUGS, FLEAS, ROACHES, RATS, ETC.
- UNABLE TO GAIN ACCESS INTO PROPERTY.
- ANY BEHAVIOR OR CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THE BAILIFF FEARS FOR HIS/HER SAFETY OR SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC.
Please note that the Bailiff will take all reasonable efforts to ensure that a “move out” is completed. HOWEVER, WHEN AN EVICTION HAS BEEN CANCELLED BY THE BAILIFF FOR SAFETY/SECURITY REASONS, IT IS THE PROPERTY OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO REFILE ANY NECESSARY DOCUMENTS WITH THE CLERK OF COURT, ALONG WITH PAYING THE APPROPRIATE FILING FEE.
Please help the Court help you by ensuring that necessary information is disclosed. Take the time to provide detailed information and warnings so that proper and timely service can be achieved. If there are any questions regarding your specific filing(s) and the information provided, please contact the Bailiff‘s Office at (937)333-4325.
Deirdre E. Logan, Administrative Judge