25th May 2008

My Trip To Eviction Court

posted in Landlord/Tenant |

Well, the hearing was definitely interesting. It was nothing like I had experienced before. It just goes to show that county court judges have all kinds of latitude when it comes to how they conduct the court’s business. For the record, I have never been before this judge prior to today.

Once the judge called roll, he stipulated that what he usually does is assign a mediator to the two parties to see if things can be worked out without the need for his ruling. In my opinion, this is a great way to handle things because, from my experience, when a situation between landlord and tenant gets to the point that communication breaks down, that’s when an eviction suit is filed or the tenant stops paying rent.

So, we went into mediation and told our sides of the story and the tenant behaved exactly as I expected. She behaved like she was the victim and I was the big, bad landlord. She proceeded to tell the mediator that she had been looking for another job, that she had car repairs to pay for, et cetera, et cetera. The mediator then asked her to step outside for a moment. He then asked me if, other than not paying the rent, was she a good tenant. My reply was that besides the complaints from the neighbors and the call from Child Services, yes, she was a good tenant. (i.e.- She was not destroying the property.)

The whole mediation process took about 10 minutes then we went back into the courtroom. The judge asked a few standard questions about how much money was owed to date and how much the tenant had paid into the court registry (which is like escrow to be paid to the prevailing party,) the difference of which being about $1200. The judge then looked at the tenant and said, “Ma’am, if you haven’t paid the rent and you can’t foresee being able to pay the rent in the future…..you can’t live there.”

In my mind, I thought, “Well…D-U-H!!” So, like Jessica’s comment (#4) said, “She’s just playing the court and trying to buy time.”

The judges final ruling was that if she could put $300 into the court registry by the end of business the next day, she could stay for two more weeks. Otherwise, he would make the eviction effective immediately. And that was it.

All that’s left to see is that whether she puts the money into the court registry or not. Either way, I’ll find out tomorrow.

There are currently 6 responses to “My Trip To Eviction Court”

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  1. 1 On May 25th, 2008, Clifford said:

    If I understand correctly, if she comes up with $300 then she can stay two weeks. But what about the rent that’s already owed?

    Yes I know it’s a dumb question. You probably won’t see a dime. I’m just curious as to what happened to the back rent.

  2. 2 On May 26th, 2008, admin said:

    Hi Cliff,
    To answer your question: I’m holding the last month’s rent and a security deposit so the judge took that into consideration I suppose.

    That’s why I always tell people when they ask what they need to move in: “First and security, with good credit.”

    This lady was sketchy from the beginning, so I got first, last & security.

  3. 3 On June 3rd, 2008, Minnesota Investment Property said:

    I assume she didn’t pay the $300? (they never do)

  4. 4 On June 3rd, 2008, admin said:

    Nope, you’re right, she didn’t pay. But get this…..the Judge STILL has not issued the Writ Of Possession. It seems that he’s giving her the time he promised her if she paid anyway.

    Real nice huh?!

    As soon as this situation works out, I may write another post about it.

  5. 5 On June 22nd, 2008, Another Eviction under My Belt said:

    […] remember the latest eviction story? Well, it’s FINALLY over and done. At the court hearing, the judge ruled that if the tenant […]

  6. 6 On November 2nd, 2008, Some Great Landlord Advice | The Successful Landlord Blog said:

    […] interesting thing was his experience with the landlord/tenant court in his area. I mentioned the frustrating experience I had in court when trying to evict one tenant and he said that he sees the same thing. The judge […]

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