If you need more information about Michigan Eviction, please read the Michigan Landlord Tenant Act. The guidelines below will show you what documents to prepare in order to carry out a simple eviction case for a non-paying tenant.
Step 1: Prepare and Send a 7-Day Notice
A Demand for Possession Nonpayment of Rent is needed before you can file a formal complaint. This will give your tenant seven (7) business days (exclude Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays) after receiving the notice to comply. After which, you can proceed to file a Complaint for Eviction if the tenant refuses to abide.
Step 2: Complaint & Summons
File your Complaint and prepare copies of the said document for your tenant with the Clerk. The Court must receive a copy of the 7-Day Notice plus the lease agreement if available. Each copy of Complaint must contain a copy of the notice and lease too. The Complaint must be duly signed in the presence of deputy clerk or have it notarized.
There are corresponding fees when filing an Eviction Complaint. All fees payable to the Clerk of Court and the amount depends on your county, number of tenants or if there is a money judgment involved. Cash or personal checks are typically accepted at $50 the least. Proper identification papers are also required when filing.
Issuance of Summons: A request to be present (Summons) is issued after the Complaint has been filed and all associated fees paid. The tenant will receive a copy of the Complaint, the 7-Day Notice and lease (if available). A Deputy Sheriff or a process server will handle the service on your behalf. The fee for the service is usually $30 per tenant. In case you have a process server’s name in mind, give the name to the Clerk. If you opt to use a private process server, you are probably going to pay the fees directly to them. Also, ask the clerk who does the mailing of the copy of the document to the tenant. It could be you or the Clerk, depending on the court.
In case the tenant or no one is available to receive the summons, it can be conspicuously posted on the tenant’s premises.
If there is Money Judgment involved: If you think that your tenant owes you money, Michigan law allows you to collect this amount alongside with your eviction case. If the eviction case is successful and your tenant can’t pay the money, most landlords will result to filing yet another separate case in Small Claims Court.
Step 3: In the Courthouse
The average waiting time is 10 days to 2 weeks, 7 days being the earliest of the court date. Court calendars usually deal with certain types of cases on certain days. For example, landlord tenant cases are handled on Mondays, motions days are on Tuesdays and so forth. Inquire at your local courthouse how they handle such cases.
Judgment: Your court may require you to prepare your own judgment and other related paperwork. This will avoid you from forgetting about having one when the court day has come.
Defaulted Decision: Many tenants will simply choose not to come to the court during the court date. Most believed that the outcome of the case is inevitable hence either move out of the place or come up with the money. If this happens, you can request the court for a default judgment. The court will usually grant your request and you get the amount stated in your Complaint plus all the fees associated with the lawsuit.
If tenant shows up: In this case, the judge will ask the tenant if he wishes an adjournment. The judge usually grants this request for a delay of 1 week or less. If the tenant wants a full trial, he can do so at this point. A full trial cannot be asked after the adjournment period has been set. The summary of the proceedings will continue if none is set.
If the eviction case will solely focus on nonpayment of rent, the judge will normally proceed to decide to rent and possession.
Appeal: After the verdict, Michigan law mandates a 10-day appeal period before A Writ of Restitution can be issued.
Step Four: Finalizing
The day after the 10-day appeal period, fill out a form for Writ of Restitution with the Clerk. A typical form will cost you $5 and another $40 to $70 for the Sheriff to serve the Writ. Depending on the judge availability, the application form may be signed right away or the following business day. Check the Clerk’s office but in most cases, they are open from Monday to Friday during business hours.
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