Eviction ProcessWhen a landlord has a tenant that no longer has a right to occupy the premises, the method to get the tenant to vacate the premises is Eviction. Eviction in City Court is governed by the provisions of LA. C.C.P. 4701 et seq. and Local Rule 22. Anyone planning to file an eviction action in City Court should be familiar with those laws.
In order for a tenant to be evicted from any premises, the tenant must no longer have a right to occupy such premises. This is the basis for any eviction action.
Termination of a tenant’s right of occupancy can occur in a number of ways. Probably the most common reasons for losing this right of occupancy would be expiration of the term of the lease (Civil Code Article 2720) or the failure to pay rent (Civil Code Articles 2704 & 2013). When either of these events occurs, the landlord is in a position to initiate eviction proceedings.
Non-Fixed Term or Reconducted Leases
When the lease is not for a fixed term or has become a reconducted lease (by permitting the tenant to stay in the premises after the term of a lease has expired), there is a requirement that a ten (10) day notice be given of the termination of the lease. (Civil Code Article 2728 (2)) Once the lease has been terminated by this notice, the landlord is in a position to initiate eviction proceedings. The ten (10) day notice of termination of the lease without a fixed term shall be considered as a notice to vacate. LA. C.C.P. 4701
Notice to Vacate
Prior to filing an eviction action, notice to vacate must be given to the tenant at least five (5) days before the date of filing, unless notice has been waived in the lease. LA. C.C.P. 4702 (The ten (10) day notice of termination of the lease without a fixed term shall be considered as a notice to vacate. LA. C.C.P. 4701) A landlord must make sure they set forth the notice to vacate in their petition or set forth where in the lease the waiver of notice occurs.
Computation of Time
In computing the five (5) day delay, the day after delivering notice is counted as day one. Weekend days and holidays are not counted. Five (5) full days must pass after delivering the notice. An eviction petition may be filed on the sixth day.
Filing for Eviction
As a summary proceeding, evictions are initiated by filing for an Eviction with the court. (LA. C.C.P. 4731 & Local Rule 22) The court has prepared a sample form which may be used in filing an eviction. The court also has an “information sheet” with information the court needs to process the eviction. This should be submitted with each eviction filing. Of course the landlord can prepare their own form as long as it complies with the requirements of the law. The fee for filing for eviction is $150.00, with an additional $50 being charged for each defendant over one.
Rule to Show Cause
Upon filing of the motion, a rule to show cause why possession should not be delivered to the landlord will be issued to and served upon the tenant. LA. C.C.P. 4731 The date set for trial of this rule to show cause must be set at least three (3) days after service of the rule. LA.C.C.P. 4732 A If the tenant has abandoned the premises or his whereabouts are unknown, the rule to show cause may be tacked on the door of the premises, and this will be equivalent to personal service. LA. C.C.P. 4703
At the trial of the rule to show cause, both the landlord and the tenant may present any evidence they have supporting their position. If the tenant fails to answer or appear, or if the court finds the landlord entitled to relief, a judgment of eviction shall be rendered. LA. C.C.P. 4732
Warrant for Possession
If the tenant does not comply with the judgment of eviction by 5:00 PM on the first non-weekend or non-holiday day following the rendering of the judgment of eviction, the court shall issue a warrant of possession directing the marshal to deliver possession of the premises. LA. C.C.P. 4733 & Local Rule 22 (2) The fee for getting a warrant of possession is $30.00.
Upon issuance of the warrant of possession, the marshal will contact the landlord and set up a time to go to the premises. It is to be remembered that it is the obligation of the landlord, not the marshal, to move any items out of the premises or to have someone available to do so.
Voluntary Dismissal of an Eviction Proceeding
If a landlord wishes to voluntarily dismiss a pending eviction action, the request for dismissal must be made in open court or in a written document filed with the court.