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Title 27 - Property and Conveyances
CHAPTER 37.
EJECTMENT OF TENANTS

Grounds for ejectment of tenant.
The tenant may be ejected upon application of the landlord or his agent when (a) such tenant fails or refuses to pay the rent when due or when demanded, (b) the term of tenancy or occupancy has ended or (c) the terms or conditions of the lease have been violated. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-10

Ejectment proceeding shall be instituted by rule.
Any tenant may be ejected in the following manner, to wit: Upon application by the landlord or his agent or attorney any magistrate having jurisdiction shall issue a written rule requiring the tenant forthwith to vacate the premises occupied by him or to show cause why he should not be ejected before the magistrate within ten days after service of a copy of such rule upon the tenant. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-20

Service of rule; posting and mailing requirements.
(A) The copy of the rule provided for in Section 27-37-20 may be served in the same manner as is provided by law for the service of the summons in actions pending in the court of common pleas of this State. The methods of service described in subsections (B) and (C) may be used as alternatives to the method of service described in this subsection.

(B) When no person can be found in possession of the premises, and the premises have remained abandoned, as defined in Section 27-40-730, for a period of fifteen days or more immediately before the date of service, the copy of the rule may be served by leaving it affixed to the most conspicuous part of the premises.

(C) When service as provided in subsection (A) has been attempted unsuccessfully three times in the manner described in item (1), a copy of the rule may be served by affixing both it and documentation of the three service attempts to the most conspicuous part of the premises and mailing a copy of the rule in the manner described in item (2):
(1) Each of the three attempts to serve the defendant must be separated by a minimum of seventy-two hours and must occur at times of day separated by a minimum of four hours. The person attempting to serve the rule must document the date and time of the attempts by affidavit or by certificate in the case of a law enforcement officer. The documentation of the three attempts to serve the rule must be attached to the copy of the rule when it is affixed to the premises.

(2) For mailing by ordinary mail to be considered to complete service under this item, it must be accomplished by placing a copy of the rule and documentation of the prior attempts at service in an envelope in the presence of the clerk of the magistrate's court. The clerk is responsible for verifying that the envelope is addressed to the defendant at the address shown in the rule as the residence of the defendant, that the envelope contains the necessary documents, and that the clerk has placed the sealed and stamped envelope in the United States mail. The clerk's verification must be made a part of the record in the case, and service by ordinary mail shall not be considered complete without the clerk's verification. A fee as provided for in Section 8-21-1010(14) shall be collected by the magistrate or his clerk for the verification and mailing in this item.

(3) Mailing of the rule shall constitute service when the requirements of items (1) and (2) have been met and ten days have elapsed from the time of mailing. If these requirements have been met, the specified time period for the tenant to show cause why he should not be ejected as provided in Section 27-37-20 shall begin to run on the eleventh day after mailing.  Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-30

Tenant ejected on failure to show cause.
If the tenant fails to appear and show cause within the aforesaid ten days then the magistrate shall issue a warrant of ejectment and the tenant shall be ejected by his regular or special constable or by the sheriff of the county. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-40

Change of venue.
The magistrate may grant a change of venue in an ejectment case as in any other civil case on a proper showing. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-50

Trial of issue.
If the tenant appear and contest ejectment the magistrate shall forthwith hear and determine the case as any other civil case, allowing trial by jury if demanded by either party. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-60

Designation of parties in ejectment.
In any trial before the magistrate in an ejectment case either with or without jury the landlord may be designated as plaintiff and the tenant as defendant. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-70

Jury trial.
Either landlord or tenant may demand trial by jury. In such case a jury shall be summoned and a jury trial had as in any other civil case. Upon the testimony offered, under instructions by the magistrate as to the law, the jury shall find for either the landlord or tenant as in any other civil case. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-80

New trial.
When a jury is had in an ejectment case the magistrate may grant a new trial as in any other civil case.  Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-90

Effect of verdict for plaintiff.
If the verdict be for the plaintiff the magistrate shall within five days issue a writ of ejectment and the tenant shall be ejected by the constable or special constable or the sheriff of the county. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-100

Effect of verdict for defendant.
If the verdict be for the defendant then the tenant shall remain in possession until (a) the termination of his tenancy by agreement or operation of law, (b) failure or neglect to pay rent or (c) ejected in another proceeding under this chapter or by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-110

Appeal.
Either party may appeal in an ejectment case and such appeal shall be heard and determined as other appeals in civil cases from the magistrate's court. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-120.

Bond required to stay ejectment on appeal.
An appeal in an ejectment case will not stay ejectment unless at the time of appealing the tenant shall give an appeal bond as in other civil cases for an amount to be fixed by the magistrate and conditioned for the payment of all costs and damages which the landlord may sustain thereby. In the event the tenant shall fail to file the bond herein required within five days after service of the notice of appeal such appeal shall be dismissed by the trial magistrate. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-130

Action of tenant wrongfully dispossessed.
In case any tenant is wrongfully dispossessed he may have an action for damages against the landlord. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-140

Accrual of rent after institution of proceedings.
After the commencement of ejectment proceedings by the issuance of a rule to vacate or to show cause as herein provided, the rental for the use and occupancy of the premises involved shall continue to accrue so long as the tenant remains in possession of the premises, at the same rate as prevailed immediately prior to the issuance of such rule, and the tenant shall be liable for the payment of such rental, the collection of which may be enforced by distress as herein provided with respect to other rents. But the acceptance by the landlord of any rent, whether it shall have accrued at the time of issuing such rule or shall subsequently accrue, shall not operate as a waiver of the landlord's right to insist upon ejectment, nor as a renewal or extension of the tenancy, but the rights of the parties as they existed at the time of the issuance of the rule shall control. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-150

Execution of writ of ejectment.
In executing a writ of ejectment, the constable or deputy sheriff shall proceed to the premises, present to the occupants a copy of the writ and give the occupants twenty-four hours to vacate voluntarily. If the occupants refuse to vacate within twenty-four hours or the premises appear unoccupied, the constable or deputy sheriff shall announce his identity and purpose. If necessary, the deputy sheriff, but not a constable, may then enter the premises by force, using the least destructive means possible, in order to effectuate the ejectment. If the premises appear to be occupied and the occupant does not respond, the constable or deputy sheriff shall leave a copy of the writ taped or stapled at each corner and attached at the top of either the front or back door or in the most conspicuous place. Twenty-four hours following the posting of the writ, if the occupants have not vacated the premises voluntarily, the deputy sheriff, but not a constable, may then enter the premises by force, using the least destructive means possible, in order to effectuate the ejectment. Discretion may be exercised by the constable or deputy sheriff in granting a delay in the dispossession of ill or elderly tenants. Title 27, Chap. 37, 27-37-160.                                                      

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