How long does it take to complete a forcible entry & detainer action?
August 16, 2022
By Site Producer Attorney & Retired Law Professor
There is no one-size-fits-all response to that question. Following a trustee’s sale, the procedure is usually as follows:
Obtain a copy of the Trustee’s Deed and serve it on the property’s occupant. Include the proper notice to leave, how you obtained title, and the required notice time – either 5 or 7 days.
If the occupant still refuses to leave after 5 to 7 days, file a complaint, summons, and civil cover sheet with the court (either Justice or Superior).
At the time of filing the complaint, obtain a hearing date and serve all documents on the occupant within 24 hours. The hearing date is normally set within 10 days of the complaint being filed.
Make a copy of the proof of personal service and present it to the hearing.
You must present the facts of how you obtained title to the property during the hearing, as well as proof that you served the initial demand letter and the complaint and summons within the required timeframe.
If no objections are raised, the Judge will sign a judgment giving the occupier 5 judicial days (normal working days) to remove the premises.
If the occupant continues to refuse to leave, you must contact the Sheriff and provide him with a conformed copy of the Judgment, as well as the Writ of Restitution and the fees for his services.
The sheriff will next serve the occupant with a final notice, giving them three days to depart.
If the occupant continues to refuse to leave, you must arrange for a moving van, movers, the sheriff, and any other relevant individuals (locksmith, animal control) to meet you at the property to coordinate the removal of the occupant and their belongings.
It’s a good idea to videotape the property and all of the personal belongings as they’re being packed.
If a dwelling unit or storage space is not available, you may store the occupant’s personal belongings in the unoccupied dwelling unit that was abandoned by the renter, in any other available unit or any storage space controlled by the landlord, or off the premises. According to subsection A of A.R.S. § 33-1370, you must advise the tenant of the whereabouts of the personal property.
About the Author: Site Producer
Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.
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