Under the rules that govern eviction actions, an eviction is a type of lawsuit called a forcible or special detainer. A special detainer means that the tenant has remained in or on the property after the landlord has given written notice that the rental agreement has been terminated and that the tenant must leave the property. A landlord can file an eviction action against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, if the tenant has breached the lease, or if the tenant has committed a crime. Eviction actions seek the eviction of the tenant and the repossession of the rental property.
The tenant's inability to pay the rent is not a legal defense to the lawsuit. However, the tenant does have some options. The tenant can pay all of the rent and any late fees any time before the lawsuit is filed and avoid eviction. If the eviction action has been filed, then the tenant must pay all past due rent, late fees, attorney's fees and court costs. If the tenant does so before a judgment is entered, he can avoid eviction. After a judgment has been entered, reinstatement of the lease is solely in the landlord's discretion.
After the tenant receives these documents, he or she should file an answer. The answer form gives the tenant several options to check and explain his or her position. The tenant will have to pay an answer fee. If the tenant is unable to afford the answer, the tenant may apply for a waiver of that fee. If the tenant believes that the landlord owes him money, then the tenant may file a counterclaim.
What will happen in Court?
Eviction cases are similar to other kinds of lawsuits. However, they move through the court system very quickly. A trial will occur on the date listed on the summons. If the tenant fails to appear, and the landlord or his attorney is present, then a judgment will most likely be entered against the tenant. If either side needs a delay, they may ask for it but continuances will be granted for no more than 3 business days.
For more information regarding Eviction Actions please visit the Coconino County Law Library Website.
Appeal from a Judgment
A tenant may appeal an Eviction Judgment to Superior Court, within 5 days from the date of the judgment.
Instructions on appeals.
Eviction Action Forms
Summons Eviction Action (Spanish Translation)
Eviction Action Complaint
Residential Eviction Information Sheet Appendix A (Spanish Translation)