Title 27 -
Property and Conveyances
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
(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
(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
(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,
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.
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
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,
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
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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