TITLE  XIX COURTS -- MUNICIPAL -- MAYOR'S
Jurisdiction in forcible entry and detainer; definitions.
(A) As provided in this chapter, any judge of a county or
municipal court or a court of common pleas, within the judge's
proper area of jurisdiction, may inquire about persons who make
unlawful and forcible entry into lands or tenements and detain them,
and about persons who make a lawful and peaceable entry into lands
or tenements and hold them unlawfully and by force. If, upon such
inquiry, it is found that an unlawful and forcible entry has been
made and the lands or tenements are detained, or that, after a
lawful entry, lands or tenements are held unlawfully and by force, a
judge shall cause the plaintiff in an action under this chapter to
have restitution of the lands or tenements.
(B) An action shall be brought under this chapter within two
the cause of action accrues.
(C) As used in this chapter:
(1) "Tenant" means a person who is entitled under a
rental agreement to the use or occupancy of premises, other than
premises located in a manufactured home park as defined in section
3733.01 of the Revised Code, to the exclusion of others.
(2) "Landlord" means the owner, lessor, or
sublessor of premises, the agent or person the landlord authorizes
to manage premises or to receive rent from a tenant under a rental
agreement, except, if required by the facts of the action to which
the term is applied, "landlord" means a park operator.
(3) "Park operator," "manufactured home,"
"mobile home," "manufactured home park," and
"resident" have the same meanings as in section 3733.01 of
the Revised Code.
(4) "Residential premises" has the same meaning as
in section 5321.01 of the Revised Code, except, if required by the
facts of the action to which the term is applied, "residential
premises" has the same meaning as in section 3733.01 of the
(5) "Rental agreement" means any agreement or
lease, written or oral, that establishes or modifies the terms,
conditions, rules, or any other provisions concerning the use or
occupancy of premises by one of the parties to the agreement or
lease, except that "rental agreement," as used in division
(A)(11) of section 1923.02 of the Revised Code and where the context
requires as used in this chapter, means a rental agreement as
defined in division (D) of section 5322.01 of the Revised Code.
(6) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as
in section 3719.01 of the Revised Code. Title 19, § 1923.01
Persons subject to forcible entry and detainer action.
(A) Proceedings under this chapter may be had as follows:
(1) Against tenants or manufactured home park residents holding
over their terms;
(2) Against tenants or manufactured home park residents in
possession under an oral tenancy, who are in default in the payment
of rent as provided in division (B) of this section;
(3) In sales of real estate, on executions, orders, or other
judicial process, when the judgment debtor was in possession at the
time of the rendition of the judgment or decree, by virtue of which
such sale was made;
(4) In sales by executors, administrators, or guardians, and
on partition, when any of the parties to the complaint were in
possession at the commencement of the action, after such sales, so
made on execution or otherwise, have been examined by the proper
court and adjudged legal;
(5) When the defendant is an occupier of lands or tenements,
without color of title, and the complainant has the right of
possession to them;
(6) In any other case of the unlawful and forcible detention
of lands or tenements. For purposes of this division, in addition to
any other type of unlawful and forcible detention of lands or
tenements, such a detention may be determined to exist when both of
the following apply:
(a) A tenant fails to vacate residential premises within three
days after both of the following occur:
(i) His landlord has actual knowledge of or has reasonable cause
to believe that the tenant, any person in the tenant's household, or
any person on the premises with the consent of the tenant previously
has or presently is engaged in a violation of Chapter 2925. or 3719.
of the Revised Code, or of a municipal ordinance that is
substantially similar to any section in either of those chapters,
which involves a controlled substance and which occurred in, is
occurring in, or otherwise was or is
connected with the premises, whether or not the tenant or other
person has been charged with, has pleaded guilty to or been
convicted of, or has been determined to be a delinquent child for an
act that, if committed by an adult, would be a violation as
described in this division. For purposes of this division, a
landlord has "actual knowledge of or has reasonable cause to
believe" that a tenant, any person in the tenant's household,
or any person on the premises with the consent of the tenant
previously has or presently is engaged in a violation as described
in this division if a search warrant was issued pursuant to Criminal
Rule 41 or Chapter 2933. of the Revised Code; the affidavit
presented to obtain the warrant named or described the
tenant or person as the individual to be searched and
particularly described the tenant's premises as the place to be
searched, named or described one or more controlled substances to be
searched for and seized, stated substantially the offense under
Chapter 2925. or 3719. of the Revised Code or the substantially
similar municipal ordinance that occurred in, is occurring in, or
otherwise was or is connected with the tenant's premises, and states
the factual basis for the affiant's belief that the controlled
substances are located on the tenant's premises; the warrant was
properly executed by a law enforcement officer and any controlled
substance described in the affidavit was found by that officer
during the search and seizure; and, subsequent to the search and
seizure, the landlord was informed by that or another law
enforcement officer of the fact that the tenant or person has or
presently is engaged in a violation as described in this division
and it occurred in, is occurring in, or otherwise was or is
connected with the tenant's premises.
(ii) The landlord gives the tenant the notice required by
division (C) of section 5321.17 of the Revised Code;
(b) The court determines, by a preponderance of the evidence,
that the tenant, any person in the tenant's household, or any person
on the premises with the consent of the tenant previously has or
presently is engaged in a violation as described in division (A)(6)(a)(i)
of this section.
(7) In cases arising out of Chapter 5313. of the Revised Code.
In such cases, the court has the authority to declare a forfeiture
of the vendee's rights under a land installment contract and to
grant any other claims arising out of the contract.
(8) Against tenants who have breached an obligation that is
imposed by section 5321.05 of the Revised Code, other than the
obligation specified in division (A)(9) of that section, and that
materially affects health and safety. Prior to the commencement of
an action under this division, notice shall be given to the tenant
and compliance secured with section 5321.11 of the Revised Code.
(9) Against tenants who have breached an obligation imposed
upon them by a written rental agreement;
(10) Against manufactured home park residents who have
defaulted in the payment of rent or breached the terms of a rental
agreement with a manufactured home park operator;
(11) Against manufactured home park residents who have
committed two material violations of the rules of the manufactured
home park, of the public health council, or of applicable state and
local health and safety codes and who have been notified of the
violations in compliance with section 3733.13 of the Revised Code.
(12) Against occupants of self-service storage facilities, as
defined in division (A) of section 5322.01 of the Revised Code, who
have breached the terms of a rental agreement or violated section
5322.04 of the Revised Code.
(B) If a tenant or manufactured home park resident holding under
an oral tenancy is in default in the payment of rent, he forfeits
his right of occupancy, and the landlord may, at his option,
terminate the tenancy by notifying the tenant, as provided in
section 1923.04 of the Revised Code, to leave the premises, for the
restitution of which an action may then be brought under this
(C) This chapter does not apply to a student tenant as
defined by division (H) of section 5321.01 of the Revised Code when
the college or university proceeds to terminate a rental agreement
pursuant to section 5321.031 [5321.03.1] of the Revised Code.
Title 19, § 1923.02
See provisions, § 6 of SB 258 (143 v --) following RC §
Judgment not a bar.
Judgments under this chapter are not a bar to a later action
brought by either party. Title 19, § 1923.03
(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, a party
desiring to commence an action under this chapter shall notify the
adverse party to leave the premises, for the possession of which the
action is about to be brought, three or more days before beginning
the action, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by
handing a written copy of the notice to the defendant in person, or
by leaving it at his usual place of abode or at the premises from
which the defendant is sought to be evicted.
Every notice given under this section by a landlord to
recover residential premises shall contain the following language
printed or written in a conspicuous manner: "You are being
asked to leave the premises. If you do not leave, an eviction action
may be initiated against you. If you are in doubt regarding your
legal rights and obligations as a tenant, it is recommended that you
seek legal assistance."
(B) The service of notice pursuant to section 5313.06 of the
Revised Code constitutes compliance with the notice requirement of
division (A) of this section. The service of the notice required by
division (C) of section 5321.17 of the Revised Code constitutes
compliance with the notice requirement of division (A) of this
section. Title 19, §1923.04
See provisions, § 6 of SB 258 (143 v --) following RC §
Complaint filed and recorded.
The summons shall not issue in an action under this chapter
until the plaintiff files his complaint in writing with the court.
The complaint shall particularly describe the premises so entered
upon and detained, and set forth either an unlawful and forcible
entry and detention, or an unlawful and forcible detention after a
peaceable or lawful entry of the described premises. The complaint
shall be copied into, and made a part of the record. Title 19,
Procedure when restitution sought on basis of drug
(A) Notwithstanding the time-for-service of a summons provision
of division (A) of section 1923.06 of the Revised Code, if the
complaint described in section 1923.05 of the Revised Code that is
filed by a landlord in an action under this chapter states that the
landlord seeks a judgment of restitution based on the grounds
specified in divisions (A)(6)(a) and (b) of section 1923.02 of the
Revised Code, then the
clerk of the municipal court, county court, or court of common
pleas in which the complaint is filed shall cause both of the
following to occur:
(1) The service and return of the summons in the action in
accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure, which service shall be
made, if possible, within three working days after the filing of the
(2) The action to be set for trial on the thirtieth working
day after the date that the tenant is served with a copy of the
summons in accordance with division (A)(1) of this section.
(B) The tenant in an action under this chapter as described in
division (A) of this section is not required to file an answer to
the complaint of the landlord, and may present any defenses that he
may possess at the trial of the action in accordance with section
1923.061 [1923.06.1] of the Revised Code.
(C) No continuances of an action under this chapter as
described in division (A) of this section shall be permitted under
section 1923.08 of the Revised Code, and if the tenant in the action
does not appear at the trial and the summons in the action was
properly served in accordance with division (A)(1) of this section,
then the court shall try the action in accordance with section
1923.07 of the Revised Code.
(D) All provisions of this chapter that are not inconsistent
with this section shall apply to an action under this chapter as
described in division (A) of this section. Title 19, [§
1923.05.1] § 1923.051
See provisions, § 6 of SB 258 (143 v --) following RC §
Summons; service of process.
(A) Any summons in an action, including a claim for possession,
pursuant to this chapter shall be issued, be in the form specified,
and be served and returned as provided in this section. Such service
shall be at least seven days before the day set for trial.
(B) Every summons issued under this section to recover
residential premises shall contain the following language printed in
a conspicuous manner: "A complaint to evict you has been filed
with this court. No person shall be evicted unless the person's
right to possession has ended and no person shall be evicted in
retaliation for the exercise of the person's lawful rights. If you
are depositing rent with the clerk of
this court you shall continue to deposit such rent until the
time of the court hearing. The failure to continue to deposit such
rent may result in your eviction. You may request a trial by jury.
You have the right to seek legal assistance. If you cannot afford a
lawyer, you may contact your local legal aid or legal service
office. If none is available, you may contact your local bar
(C) The clerk of the court in which a complaint to evict is
filed shall mail any summons by ordinary mail, along with a copy of
the complaint, document, or other process to be served, to the
defendant at the address set forth in the caption of the summons and
to any address set forth in any written instructions furnished to
the clerk. The mailing shall be evidenced by a certificate of
mailing which the clerk shall complete and file.
In addition to this ordinary mail service, the clerk also
shall cause service of that process to be completed under division
(D) or (E) of this section or both, depending upon which of those
two methods of service is requested by the plaintiff upon filing the
complaint to evict.
(1) If requested, the clerk shall deliver sufficient copies of
the summons, complaint, document, or other process to be served to,
and service shall be made by, one of the following persons:
(a) The sheriff of the county in which the premises are located
when the process issues from a court of common pleas or county
(b) The bailiff of the court for service when process issues
from a municipal court;
(c) Any person who is eighteen years of age or older, who is
not a party, and who has been designated by order of the court to
make service of process when process issues from any of the courts
referred to in divisions (D)(1)(a) and (b) of this section.
(2) The person serving process shall effect service at the
premises that are the subject of the forcible entry and detainer
action by one of the following means:
(a) By locating the person to be served at the premises to
tender a copy of the process and accompanying documents to that
(b) By leaving a copy of the summons, complaint, document, or
other process with a person of suitable age and discretion found at
the premises if the person to be served cannot be found at the time
the person making service attempts to serve the summons pursuant to
division (D)(2)(a) of this section;
(c) By posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the subject
premises if service cannot be made pursuant to divisions (D)(2)(a)
and (b) of this section.
(3) Within five days after receiving the summons, complaint,
document, or other process from the clerk for service, the person
making service shall return the process to the clerk. The person
shall indicate on the process which method described in division
(D)(2) of this section was used to serve the summons. The clerk
shall make the appropriate entry on the appearance docket.
(E) If requested, the clerk shall mail by certified mail, return
receipt requested, a copy of the summons, complaint, document, or
other process to be served to the address set forth in the caption
of the summons and to any address set forth in any written
instructions furnished to the clerk.
(F) Service of process shall be deemed complete on the date
that any of the following has occurred:
(1) Service is made pursuant to division (D)(2)(a) or (b) of
(2) Both ordinary mail service under division (C) and service
by posting pursuant to division (D)(2)(c) of this section have been
(3) For service performed pursuant to division (E) of this
section, on the date of mailing, if on the date of the hearing
either of the following applies:
(a) The certified mail has not been returned for any reason
other than refused or unclaimed.
(b) The certified mail has not been endorsed, and the
ordinary mail has not been returned.
(1) The claim for restitution of the premises shall be scheduled
for hearing in accordance with local court rules, but in no event
sooner than the seventh day from the date service is complete.
(2) Answer day for any other claims filed with the claim for
possession shall be twenty-eight days from the date service is
deemed complete under this section. Title 19, § 1923.06
Defenses and counterclaims.
(A) Any defense in an action under this chapter may be asserted
(B) In an action for possession of residential premises based
upon nonpayment of the rent or in an action for rent when the tenant
or manufactured home park resident is in possession, the tenant or
resident may counterclaim for any amount he may recover under the
rental agreement or under Chapter 3733. or 5321. of the Revised
Code. In that event, the court from time to time may order the
tenant or resident to pay into court all or part of the past due
rent and rent becoming due during the pendency of the action. After
trial and judgment, the party to whom a net judgment is owed shall
be paid first from the money paid into court, and any balance shall
be satisfied as any other judgment. If no rent remains due after
application of this division, judgment shall be entered for the
tenant or resident in the action for possession. If the tenant or
resident has paid into court an amount greater than that necessary
to satisfy a judgment obtained by the landlord, the balance shall be
returned by the court to the tenant or resident. Title 19, [§
1923.06.1] § 1923.061
Proceedings if defendant fails to appear.
If the defendant does not appear in action under this chapter
and the summons was properly served, the court shall try the cause
as though the defendant were present. Title 19, § 1923.07
Continuance and bond.
No continuance in an action under this chapter shall be granted
for a period longer than eight days, unless the plaintiff applies
for the continuance and the defendant consents to it, or unless the
defendant applies for the continuance and gives a bond to the
plaintiff, with good and sufficient surety, that is approved by the
conditioned for the payment of rent that may accrue, if judgment
is rendered against the defendant. Title 19, § 1923.08
Joinder of causes of action.
A trial in an action for forcible entry and detainer for
residential premises, or for a storage space at a self-service
storage facility, as defined in division (A) of section 5322.01 of
the Revised Code, pursuant to this chapter may also include a trial
on claims of the plaintiff for past due rent and other damages under
agreement, unless for good cause shown the court continues the
trial on those claims. For purposes of this section, good cause
includes the request of the defendant to file an answer or
counterclaim to the claims of the plaintiff or for discovery, in
which case the proceedings shall be the same in all respects as in
other civil cases. If, at the time of the trial, the defendant has
filed an answer or counterclaim, the
trial may proceed on the claims of the plaintiff and the
defendant. Title 19, [§ 1923.08.1] § 1923.081
Suit tried by county court judge.
If an action under this chapter is not continued, the place of
trial is not changed, and neither party demands a jury on the return
day of the summons, a judge of the court shall try the cause. After
hearing the evidence, if he concludes that the complaint is not
true, he shall enter judgment against the plaintiff for costs. If he
finds the complaint to be true, he shall render a general judgment
defendant, in favor of the plaintiff, for restitution of the
premises and costs of suit. If the judge finds the complaint true in
part, he shall render a judgment for restitution of such part only,
and the cost shall be taxed as he deems just.
Trial by jury.
If a jury is demanded by either party in an action under this
chapter, until the impaneling of the jury, the proceedings shall be
in all respects as in other cases. The jury shall be sworn to try
and determine whether the complaint, naming the plaintiff, about to
be presented to them, is true according to the evidence. If the jury
finds that the complaint is true, it shall render a general verdict
defendant. If the jury finds that the complaint is not true, it
shall render a general verdict in favor of the defendant. If the
jury finds that the complaint is true in part, it shall render a
verdict setting forth the facts that it finds are true. Title
19, § 1923.10
Fee of jury.
In actions under this chapter before a county court, a party
demanding a jury shall first deposit money with the court sufficient
to pay the jury fee. Title 19, [§ 1923.10.1] § 1923.101
Entry and judgment.
The court shall enter the verdict rendered by a jury under
section 1923.10 of the Revised Code upon the docket, and render
judgment in the action as if the facts, authorizing the finding of
such verdict, had been found by the court itself. Title 19, §
section concerned exceptions to opinions of judge of county court in
Repealed, 141 v H 158, § 2 [RS § 6610; S&S 415; S&C
794; 63 v 148, § 136; GC § 10459; 116 v 104(125), § 2; Bureau of
Code Revision, 10-1-53; 127 v 1039(1088)]. Eff 3-17-87.
When a judgment of restitution is entered by a court in an
action under this chapter, at the request of the plaintiff or his
agent or attorney, that court shall issue a writ of execution on the
judgment, in the following form, as near as practicable:
The state of Ohio, . . . . . . . county: To any constable or
of . . . . . . township, city, or village; or to the sheriff of
. . . . . . . . . . county; or to any authorized bailiff of the . .
. . . . . . . . . .: (Name of court)
Whereas, in a certain action for the forcible entry and
the forcible detention, as the case may be), of the following
premises, to wit: . . . . . ., lately tried before this court,
wherein . . . . . . . . was plaintiff, and . . . . . was defendant,
. . . . . . . judgment was rendered on the . . . . day of . . . . .
., . . . . . ., that the plaintiff have restitution of those
premises; and also that he recover costs in the sum of . . . . . . .
You therefore are hereby commanded to cause the defendant to be
forthwith removed from those premises, and the plaintiff to have
restitution of them; also, that you levy of the goods and chattels
of the defendant, and make the costs previously mentioned and all
accruing costs, and of this writ make legal service and due return.
Witness my hand, this . . . . day of . . ., A.D. . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . .Judge, . . . (Name of court). Title 19,
Writ of execution enforced.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, within ten days
after receiving the writ of execution described in section 1923.13
of the Revised Code, the sheriff, police officer, constable, or
bailiff shall execute it by restoring the plaintiff to the
possession of the premises, and shall levy and collect the costs and
make return, as upon other executions. If an appeal from the
judgment of restitution is filed and
if, following the filing of the appeal, a stay of execution is
obtained and any required bond is filed with the court of common
pleas, municipal court, or county court, the judge of that court
immediately shall issue his order to the sheriff, police officer,
constable, or bailiff commanding him to delay all further
proceedings upon the execution. If the premises have been restored
to the plaintiff, the sheriff, police officer, constable, or bailiff
shall forthwith place the defendant in
possession of them, and return the writ with his proceedings and
the costs taxed thereon. Title 19, § 1923.14
Inspection of premises; correcting conditions.
During any proceeding involving residential premises under this
chapter, the court may order an appropriate governmental agency to
inspect the residential premises. If the agency determines and the
court finds conditions which constitute a violation of section
3733.10 or 5321.04 of the Revised Code, and if the premises have
or are to be restored to the landlord, the court may issue an
order forbidding the re-rental of the property until such conditions
are corrected. If the agency determines and the court finds such
conditions, and if the court finds that the tenant or manufactured
home park resident may remain in possession, the court may order
such conditions corrected. If such conditions have been caused by
tenant or resident, the court may award damages to the landlord
equal to the reasonable cost of correcting such conditions.
Title 19, § 1923.15
Help? Visit our free online discussion