Legal Measures to Evict Tenants
The court-administered eviction process assures the tenant of the right to a court hearing if the tenant believes that the landlord has no right to evict the tenant. The landlord must use this court process to evict the tenant; the landlord cannot use self-help measures to force the tenant to move. For example, the landlord cannot physically remove or lock out the tenant, cut off utilities such as water or electricity, remove outside windows or doors, or seize (take) the tenant's belongings in order to carry out the eviction. The landlord must use the court procedures.
If the landlord uses unlawful methods to evict a tenant, the landlord may be subject to liability for the tenant's damages, as well as penalties of up to $100 per day for the time that the landlord used the unlawful methods.
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Courts enforce Your Rights
Your Day in Court
Before appearing in court, we can help you carefully prepare your case. Among other things, we will help you with:
- Deciding how you will present the facts that support your side of the case - whether by witnesses, letters, other documents, photographs or video, or other evidence.
- Requiring you to bring at least four copies of all documents that you intend to use as evidence - an original for the judge, a copy for the opposing party, a copy for yourself, and copies for your witnesses.
- Arrange for and help you prepare your witnesses that will testify at the trial. You can subpoena a witness who will not testify voluntarily. A subpoena is an order from the court for a witness to appear. The subpoena must be served on (handed to) the witness, and can be served by anyone but you who is over the age of 18. You can obtain a subpoena from the Clerk of Court. You must pay witness fees at the time the subpoena is served on the witness, if the witness requests them.