Step 5A: The Lawsuit is Contested (aka the tenant filed an answer and trial will be held)
Trial to be Held
In approximately 25% of our cases, tenant(s) “contest” the Eviction lawsuit that was filed against them. If your tenant(s) “contest” your lawsuit (or file an answer in court in opposition to the lawsuit you filed against them):
First, we submit a “Request for Trial” with the Court from the attorney’s office. It takes approximately one week for the Court to return this “Request” with the date and time of your specific trial.
Then, a trial date is confirmed, and the attorney’s office informs you of the final trial date, time, and location.
Once you meet the attorney at court for your trial, the judge will encourage you to step outside with your tenants to try and reach a mutual agreement rather than using the court’s time for a trial. At this point, one of two scenarios will result.
Scenario 1: You is to enter into a “Stipulation” (or a mutual written agreement that’s read into the court record) with your tenant(s), and they agree to who agree to move out by a certain date and/or abide by a repayment schedule. We will file this “Stipulation” with the court, then we will give you a copy of the terms you agreed to.If your tenant continues to pay as agreed in the “Stipulation”, then your case ends here. If your tenant does not pay and/or vacate as indicated in the “Stipulation”, you should call our office, so we can proceed to the next step. In this case, we must return to court to obtain a “Default Judgment After Stipulation”, then we will proceed to Step 6: Judgment Entered.
Scenario 2: Trial is held, and you are the prevailing party at the trial. This may occur if your tenant does not appear in court or if you are unable to reach a mutual agreement or “Stipulation.” After your trial, a “Judgment After Trial” form is prepared and submitted for the Judge’s signature. Continue to Step 6: Judgment Entered
We understand that this process can be confusing. For a clearer, visual representation of this process, you may review our Flow Chart of the Eviction Process.