1. The Eviction Timeline Begins with a Basis for Eviction
The eviction timeline starts with a basis for the eviction. Typically the Landlord and tenant relationship is contained in a lease. Landlords are entitled to bring eviction proceedings for a number of reasons, including but not limited to failure to pay rent, disorderly conduct, destruction or damage to property and habitual lateness. Any other violations of the lease agreement may also be reasons to begin an eviction proceeding. Before formally proceeding with a court eviction proceeding the landlord must give the tenant notice to stop, cease, quit or make payment. The basis for the eviction will dictate the type and length of the notice that you must give.
2. Filing and Service of Complaint
Once notice is provided and not complied, the landlord can go forward with an eviction proceeding before the superior court of New Jersey. This process in the eviction timeline is started by filing a complaint with the applicable court. Once the complaint is filed it must then be served upon the tenant along with a summons. The court will then schedule a trial when the summons and complaint are both filed and served upon the tenant. NJ trials are running anywhere between 2-6 weeks to get scheduled.
The court requires both the landlord and the tenant appear on the day of trial. The landlord must bring all of the documents necessary to prove his/her case. The landlord should bring a copy of the notice prior to the eviction, the lease, an accounting of the balance and pictures of any damages. If the tenant does not appear the court will enter a judgment for possession against the tenant. In this part of the eviction process, if the tenant does appear and the case can not be settled the court will hear argument from both sides and will render a decision. Assuming that the landlord can prove his/her case a judgment for possession will be entered in favor of the landlord.
Winning a judgment for possession is only half the battle because in many instances the tenant still resides in the location. The landlord must then formally seek to have the tenant removed. A landlord can not personally evict a tenant. Only a superior court officer or sheriff may physically remove a tenant. A landlord may apply for a warrant for removal three days after the judgment for possession is entered. The superior court officer or sheriff will then schedule a removal. This process must be no sooner than 3 days after the entry of final judgment but usually takes about 7 to 10 days to get the removal scheduled after the entry of judgment.
The eviction process can seem daunting, for any questions or a free consultation contact us now.