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Going to court


Make sure you have the correct date and time you are supposed to appear in court. Bring copies of important documents if needed.


Last updated 07/19/2023

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Court date and summons

Your Summons should state the date you are to appear in court. If you cannot find the date on the Summons, call the court clerk immediately and ask the clerk to tell you the court date. 

Behavior in court

Anytime you appear in court, you should speak politely and respectfully to all court staff and parties. If you have defenses, write your defenses down and file them with the court. Keep a photocopy of the documents you file with the court. Ask the court clerk to stamp your copy. Give your landlord or landlord’s attorney a copy. 

Expedited eviction action

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. 

First court date and defense

On your first court date, be prepared and bring all of your proof for whatever defense applies to your situation. The judge will usually ask if you agree with the landlord’s story and wants to consent to judgment or whether you would like to have a trial.

If you agree with the landlord’s story and consent to the judgment, then the landlord gets possession and you may have to pay the rent and fees the landlord alleges are owed.

If you disagree with landlord’s story and requests a trial, the tenant will schedule a second court date for trial, and the tenant will have more time to move out. 
Under Missouri law, you have the right to not have a trial on that first court date. You can ask the judge to set the case for trial at a later date. This is called requesting a continuance

The second court date is almost always a trial.