FAQ: Evictions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Evictions.

Where can I get eviction paperwork?

You may contact an attorney, do independent research online or check your library’s resources to locate the “Complaint for Forcible Entry and Detainer” paperwork. The Clerk’s Office does NOT supply this paperwork. Please note that when you file your complaint, the Clerk’s Office will need an original complaint as well as three copies if you are evicting one tenant. Include two additional copies for each additional tenant. All copies should be exactly the same.

How long does the typical eviction process take? What is the typical eviction timeline? 

Eviction hearings are typically scheduled between two to three weeks after you file your paperwork with the Clerk’s Office Civil Division. Hearings are always on a Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 pm. This time period allows time for the eviction paperwork to be sent by ordinary mail through the U.S. Postal Service as well as providing the court bailiff the opportunity to post the eviction notice in person at the address provided in your filing. You can ensure there is no delay in service by making sure you have provided an accurate address for your property.

How is the tenant notified of the eviction hearing?

The court bailiff will post a copy of the court summons and eviction complaint at the rental address. The Clerk’s Office will also send out a copy of the court summons and complaint through ordinary mail to the tenant. If you are also filing a claim for money owed for damages or past-due rent as a “second cause” with the eviction, the Clerk’s Office will send your complaint and summons out by additional service through certified mail. Please note that there is an additional fee for this service.

What happens at the eviction hearing?

The eviction hearing will take place in front of a magistrate in courtroom #2 beginning at 2:00 pm on the Tuesday of the court date. The magistrate will make sure all paperwork is in order and give both parties (if present) an opportunity to speak.  Please be prepared to present your case and bring any evidence you may feel necessary. The magistrate may make a decision regarding the eviction whether or not the tenant(s) is present. Please note that there are times, under certain circumstances, that the magistrate may continue the hearing to another date. See our Evictions page for more information.

What happens if an eviction is filed against me and I do not appear in court?

If the landlord (plaintiff) or their attorney appears at the eviction hearing and you do not, the magistrate may grant restitution of the premises to the landlord, which means you will be legally required to move out.  The landlord/attorney could also ask the court to grant a Writ of Restitution, which would be an order for the court bailiff to go to the property and make sure you leave – if you do not voluntarily move out. The landlord/attorney could request and pay for this Writ on the day of the hearing.  The date for this move out will then be coordinated between the landlord/attorney and the court and typically happens within a week of the time the Writ is purchased.

After I file the eviction and go to court, how long does it take to get the tenant out of the property?

If the magistrate approves the eviction during the hearing, the judge will immediately sign an entry ordering “Restitution of the Property”. This entry states that the defendant shall immediately vacate (leave) the premises. If the plaintiff/attorney would like to ensure that the defendant(s) move out in a timely manner (i.e. enforce the eviction), they may choose to purchase a “Writ of Restitution” which will give a specific date that the tenant must be moved out by or be forced to leave the property.  This date is typically between seven to 10 days from the hearing. The bailiff will then serve this writ to the defendant(s) if they are present in person or by service at the rental property. See our Evictions page for more information.

Will claims for damages or past due rent be heard at the eviction hearing?

If you file a complaint asking the court to evict your tenant AND you are pursuing a monetary claim for damages or past due rent, these actions will be handled separately.  First, there will be a hearing about whether or not you have a valid claim to evict a tenant.  If the landlord is granted “restitution of premises,” as outlined above, your claim for damages will be handled one of two ways.  If the tenant files an answer to your complaint about money owed, a hearing will be scheduled where the magistrate will make a determination on the monetary claim.  If the tenant does not file an answer and you have proof that they were properly served with the complaint, you have options for trying to pursue a judgment.  Please see the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and our Evictions page for information on handling damages and past due rent.