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Understanding the expedited eviction action


Landlords can file expedited eviction lawsuits for drug-related criminal activity or emergency situations. Strict requirements must be met, and tenants have rights to defend themselves. If eviction is ordered, the sheriff can execute it immediately, but the court may stay eviction if the tenant’s safety is at risk.


Last updated 06/22/2023

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Expedited eviction process

Under certain circumstances, a landlord may be able to file a lawsuit requesting an expedited eviction. An expedited eviction action moves more quickly than other eviction lawsuits. If the landlord obtains a judgment authorizing eviction, the judge can order that the sheriff carry out the eviction more quickly than other eviction lawsuits once the judgment becomes final.

Requirements and legal advice

There are strict requirements for filing such a suit and often landlords do not follow all the rules before filing suit; often landlords do not have grounds for filing the suit. There are other additional requirements not listed here that a landlord must meet in order to obtain an expedited eviction. This can be a complicated proceeding, so you should try to talk to an attorney before going to court if your landlord files a lawsuit requesting an expedited eviction.

Grounds for expedited eviction

A landlord may file an expedited eviction action if the landlord believes that drug-related criminal activity is taking place in, on, or within the immediate vicinity of the tenant’s unit.

A landlord may also file an expedited eviction action in certain emergency situations. The landlord must prove that the expedited eviction procedures are needed to avoid imminent and certain physical injury to the landlord or other tenants, or physical damage to the property exceeding 12 months of rent.

Tenant protections and prohibited activity

The tenant cannot be evicted in an expedited eviction action if the tenant can prove that the activity did not occur, that the tenant did not assist in the activity or know that the activity was occurring, or that the tenant was unable to prevent the activity because of physical or verbal coercion. The court can, however, order that the person who did engage in the activity be removed and barred from the tenant’s unit. If the tenant then lets the barred person come back, the landlord has the right to file an expedited eviction action.

Tenant rights and protections in expedited evictions

If the criminal activity alleged by the landlord was not committed by the tenant, before filing suit, the landlord must give the tenant a written notice giving the tenant 5 days to either get an order of protection against the offender or report the offender’s activity to the police or prosecuting attorney. If the tenant complies and provides the landlord with written proof, the landlord may not file an expedited eviction action.

Eviction process and exceptional circumstances

Under some circumstances, the court can also order a probationary tenancy that would allow a tenant who has a drug addiction but seeks treatment, to remain in the unit if the tenant can meet certain conditions.

If the court orders an expedited eviction, the court can require the sheriff to evict the tenant immediately once the judgment becomes final.

However, the court can also prevent or stay the eviction for a reasonable length of time if the tenant can establish by clear and convincing evidence that immediate eviction would pose a serious danger to the tenant that outweighs the safety of the landlord and the community.