Many of our landlord tenant clients engage our services when their cases are dismissed because of a defect in the process of filing the case.
Consequently, we are publishing this blog to help avoid such defects. Please keep in mind that if your property is held in an LLC, you must use an attorney for such a filing.
A landlord tenant summary proceeding action includes filing a number of documents necessary to initiate the action. The first document in the filing is the Summons.
All landlord tenant summary proceeding filings use the same Summons form MC 01. You will fill in all known applicable information for the court, yourself and the Plaintiff, and the Defendant tenants. Please be sure to include the phrase “and All Other Occupants” after listing all applicable Defendant names. You will then make 5 copies of the unsigned summons to send to the court and we recommend retaining one for your records.
The next document required for this filing is the Complaint. The Complaint form will vary depending on the type of action. The two most common Complaint forms used for an LT filing are DC 102C to recover possession and DC 102A for nonpayment of rent. Please refer to our previous blog in this series regarding the strategy behind these different actions.
You will also want to include a copy of your Notice to Quit/Demand for Possession (“NTQ”). Please make sure that your NTQ lines up with your Complaint. For instance, a Notice to Quit to Recover Possession goes with a Complaint to Recover Possession. Please be sure to incorporate the language “and All Other Occupants” after listing the Defendant’(s) names.
The forms are fairly self-explanatory, but here are some pitfalls. For example, you will want to be sure to reference the reasons for termination in the termination action, and you will want to be sure to separate out the applicable charges in the nonpayment action. Additionally, please be sure that all applicable boxes are checked. These include – but are not limited to – boxes 7, 8, and 10 of the Complaint to Recover Possession and boxes 7 and 10 on the Complaint for Nonpayment -- failure to check box 10 may eliminate your ability to get a money judgment. You will want to include 4 copies of the signed Complaint with your filing.
You will also want to include 4 copies of the Notice and 4 copies of any applicable lease. If no lease exists, we recommend notating such on the letter to the court clerk.
As referenced above, we recommend including a letter to the court clerk with your filing. We generally reference the case information, what is included with the filing, and a request for the clerk to forward the filed copies to a court officer of their choosing for service upon the defendants. We also provide the clerks with self-addressed stamped envelopes for mailing our copies back to us and for mailing copies to the Defendants.
You will also include with the filing, and reference in your clerk letter, the appropriate filing fee. As of the writing of this blog, the most common filing fees are as follows:
If your money judgment is for more than $10,000, there may be other issues worth discussing with our team.
Once filed with the court, you will then receive notice of the first hearing date and time. Please feel free to review our blog concerning the hearing process in preparation for that hearing.
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