Having Trouble Paying Rent? **HELP IS AVAILABLE**
Montgomery County is providing $500,000 in rental assistance to eligible residents of Kettering, Moraine, Centerville and Washington Township. This program is administered by the City of Kettering. If you have suffered COVID-related financial impact, you may be eligible for rental assistance. Application and information regarding the program is available at: https://www.ketteringoh.org/stayput
The Clerk’s Office Civil Division handles eviction filings. (Note: An eviction filing is many times referred to as a “Complaint for Forcible Entry and Detainer” – FED). At the time an eviction is filed, the claim may be for restitution of the property only (first cause) or for restitution of the property along with a claim for damages and/or past due rent (second cause). Visit our cost page for current filing fees for both first cause and second cause evictions. Please be aware: if the filing includes damages or past due rent claims, the filing must be officially served to the defendant (tenant) per the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure – rules of service (see Damages or Past Due Rent Claims section below). Additional information can be found on the FAQ: Evictions portion of our website.
For purposes of this procedure, the following terms are used:
• The “Plaintiff” is the party who initiates a legal action. The “Defendant” is the party against whom the legal action – in this case an eviction – is brought.
• The term “Landlord” is used to describe any of the following: the plaintiff, the property owner, the property owner’s agent or designee, or the property owner’s attorney of record.
• The term “Tenant” is used to describe any of the following: the defendant or the tenant.
If a landlord (or attorney) files an eviction in this court, they must submit an original filing and multiple copies for service. Please call the Civil Division for specific numbers of copies needed. Please note: Kettering Municipal Court does not provide eviction paperwork.
Once a filing is received, an eviction hearing will be set typically within two to three weeks on a Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The landlord (or attorney) will be notified of this hearing when the eviction is filed in person or by mail if the paperwork was received in the mail. Unless the landlord (or attorney) chooses another method for proof of service, the defendant(s) will be notified by ordinary mail with certificate of mailing (first cause only), or by certified mail (second cause). In addition, a court bailiff will also post the complaint and summons to Court at the address where the defendant (tenant) is being evicted from.
If the landlord is successful in pursuing an eviction action and a Judgment Entry and Order of Restitution of Premises is granted by the Court, the following additional actions may be taken if the defendant (tenant) does not move out of the property. If desired, the steps below must be taken by the landlord before the Court will forcibly evict the tenant.
A Writ of Restitution evicting the tenant must be requested by the landlord. The Writ may be requested at the hearing for the Restitution of Premises (eviction hearing). A $100 fee is required to be paid in the Clerk’s Office for the Writ of Restitution to be prepared and issued. The bailiff will then serve the tenant (if present) with the Writ of Restitution. The Writ will state the date by which the tenant must vacate the premises and remove all personal property, as well as the forcible eviction date for the bailiff to assist the landlord if the tenant has not voluntarily vacated the premises. If the Writ of Restitution is not requested at the restitution hearing, the landlord can file a praecipe requesting the Writ with the desired forcible eviction date, along with the $100 fee.
It will be the responsibility of the landlord to notify the bailiff no later than noon (Eastern Time) on the day before the forcible eviction is scheduled to let them know whether the tenant has voluntarily vacated the premises and removed personal property in the allotted time or if the forcible eviction process is still necessary. The landlord must notify the bailiff EITHER WAY. Failure of the landlord to notify the bailiff – before the notification deadline – that the forcible eviction process is still necessary will result in cancellation of the existing date. In that event, a new forcible eviction date will need to be rescheduled by the landlord through the Court. Please note: It is the responsibility of the landlord (not the bailiff) to handle keys, money and any coordination with movers.
Any property not removed by the tenant before the designated date is considered abandoned. Property and/or bulk waste cannot be set out or left at the curb for disposal by the landlord or the tenant, unless the landlord has contracted with a trash disposal company for the removal of the items. Abandoned property or bulk waste cannot be left anywhere on the exterior of the property for longer than 48 hours before its removal.
Please see the Kettering Municipal Court local rule regarding Forcible Entry and Detainer for more information.
Damages or Past Due Rent Claims – Note to Landlords
If you are pursuing damages or past due rent on your complaint, there are several steps and forms that you must file to complete this process. For more information, please consult an attorney or view the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.
Please be aware: In order for this portion of your case to go forward, your claim must be officially served to the defendant by the Court. Service is a fee-based process done through certified mail or personal delivery to the address by a Court bailiff, sheriff or process server. If we are unable to get service of the claim to the defendant on the first attempt, the Clerk’s Office will send you a notice alerting you of failure to get service on your complaint.
There are some secondary options if your first attempts for service fail. If, for example, you opted for the Court to send the claim by certified mail and it is unclaimed or refused, you can request for the Clerk’s Office to send it again by ordinary mail. This request must be made in writing. If the letter is undeliverable by the Post Office, we will need a better address to try again. Additional certified mailings can be processed by the Clerk’s Office at an additional cost. Once service is perfected—meaning that the defendant has received an official copy of your claim from the Court—your case can go forward. If we cannot achieve service, your case cannot proceed.
Note to the Defendant
If you are being evicted and you cannot afford a private attorney to provide you with legal counsel, you can contact:
Legal Aid Line of Western Ohio
Ohio Legal Help
Please see our Links/Resources page for additional information.