Dates and court information is based on Boston Municipal Courts. Although some may be similar please consult with your local District or Housing Court to determine dates and fees.
A Summary Process Summons and Complaint is used to summons your tenant into court. On this date the landlord, or the landlord’s attorney, will appear at court along with the tenant. In most cases the landlord must have served the tenant a proper notice to quit that has expired prior to moving to this step. If a case is filed prior to the notice expiring, the judge may dismiss the case.
Each court uses their own specific summary process forms stamped with that courthouses seal. The courts charge $5 for each form. Most of the time our office will be able to supply one from the particular courthouse you need, but please call ahead of time to verify. On this form will be similar information that was included on the notice served: landlord’s name(s), address, contact information and signature, tenant’s name(s), address, reason for eviction, total amount of rent owed and a break down of how much for each month (if for non-payment of rent).
On every Summary Process Summons and Complaint dates play a critical role in properly completing service. For a landlord some key dates you must pay attention to are the entry date, answer date, and trial date. In order to get the next available court date the last day service can be completed is always the Monday before the entry date. So when requesting service, keep in mind that Monday’s will be the last day to get the next available court date. Any day after will put the court date back one week from the previous intended court date.
The date by which the landlord must file the original summary process summons and complaint along with your proof of notice terminating the tenancy (14 day, 30 day, etc.) with the court. This date is typically any Monday at least seven days, but no more than 30 days, after the date your tenant was served the summons. This entry date is the last day that you may file, but you may go to the courthouse to file sooner if you are in possession of the original summary process summons and complaint with the completed return of service on the back. Each court has a filing fee which is typically $135 for housing courts and $195 for district courts. You will want to check with your court house to determine what forms of payment are accepted.
The date by which your tenant(s) must deliver to the court, as well as to the landlord, his/her answer (their side of the story). This deadline is typically the Monday before the court date.
The date your case will be heard. The court date will usually be the second Thursday after the Monday entry date. On this day both parties will appear in court and state their side of the case.
We will help the landlord fill in all the necessary information and then serve a copy of the original summary process. After service is completed we will complete the Return of Service on the back of the original summary process summons and complaint. We then mail this original to you for filing at the respective court house.
There are a number of outcomes that are possible at the trial, but if you win you will typically be awarded Execution for Possession, which you typically receive 10 days from the judgment date (usually the trial date unless the judge takes it under advisement). Once you receive the Execution for Possession from the court you can come back to our office and begin the next step, the physical eviction.