First and foremost, the Clerks of the Bedford Municipal Court are not attorneys, and they cannot and will not give you legal advice. If you are unsure about your rights, or the procedures to follow, you should contact an attorney. This procedure guideline is intended to be informative only. As each situation is different, this guide should not be construed as replacing an attorney. You should also take note that all corporations must be represented by an attorney in eviction proceedings.
An eviction, also known as a forcible entry and detainer action, is a lawsuit filed by a landlord asking the court to remove a tenant from rental property. After a hearing before a Judge or Magistrate, if successful, the landlord will be granted a “writ of restitution”. This is the authority for the landlord to be allowed to retake possession of the rental unit. If the tenant has not vacated the property, the landlord will then schedule a move-out date and the tenant’s possessions will be packed and moved into storage.
A typical eviction is filed due to the tenant’s failure to timely pay the agreed upon rental amount. An eviction is commenced with the landlord’s service upon the tenant of a proper notice. While the type of notice you may require can differ, depending on the circumstances, a sample 3-day notice for non-payment of rent and complaint in forcible entry and detainer have been provided in the “FORMS” section of this website. If you have any questions about what type of notice you must use, you should contact an attorney. Attached to the complaint should be a copy of the notice served and a copy of a written lease agreement.
Every lawsuit is filed based upon a specific set of circumstances, and as such, the proof required will vary from case to case. Generally however, at hearing, the landlord should be prepared to establish at least the following facts:
1. The reason for the eviction;
2. The type of notice served, and the date upon which the notice was served;
3. How the notice was served, and by whom. The person who served the
notice must be in court to testify as to the date and manner of delivery.
The date of the eviction trial is the proper time for both sides to present their evidence and testimony to the Court. If either side has evidence such as cancelled checks, pictures, written documents, receipts, etc., the original and a copy should be brought to Court on the day of hearing. If either side intends to use witness testimony, the witness should be at Court on the day of hearing. A written statement from a witness will usually NOT be accepted, so make arrangements to have your witness present.
Once the hearing has been concluded, the Magistrate will usually indicate whether or not the landlord is entitled to what is called a “writ of restitution”, or in other words, whether or not the tenant must vacate the premises. If the tenant is told to vacate the premises, and a writ is issued, the premises will be “red tagged”, which literally means a red tag will be put on the door indicating that the tenant must vacate by a certain date. If the tenant does not vacate the premises, the landlord will have the right to have a moving company come in, pack the tenant’s belongings up, and placed into storage, all at the tenant’s costs.