Eviction Actions

Instructions for Eviction Actions in Justice Court     

The landlord must give the tenant proper notice and wait until the business day after the expiration of the tenant's notice before filing an eviction action in justice court. Save a copy of the notice sent to the tenant as this will need to be filed with the summons and complaint, if filing is necessary. See Legal Info Sheets - Landlord/Tenant Disputes & Eviction and visit www.azcourts.gov/eviction for more detailed information. 
Before filing the summons and complaint with the appropriate Clerk of Court, make three copies of the forms if filing against one person; make four copies if filing against two persons (such as a married couple.) One copy of summons and complaint for filing, one copy for each plaintiff, one copy for each defendant, and one copy for the constable, sheriff, or process server. The landlord must also serve a copy of the lease agreement and any addendums with the complaint. In addition, if the action is based on non-payment of rent, a copy of the accounting of charges and payments for the preceding six months must be attached. The Clerk will schedule a hearing date and time that will be noted on the summons. 
Along with the summons and complaint, a Residential Eviction Information Sheet must also be served on the tenant. Go to www.azcourts.gov/eviction to locate this form. Service must occur at least two days before the date set for the initial appearance in court. See Legal Info Sheet titled General Statutes Evictions for more information regarding service of process. Generally, an eviction action summons and complaint must be served by a constable, sheriff or licensed process server, who must either personally serve the tenant or, post in an obvious place and then mail to the tenant by certified mail. There are alternative service methods available if authorized by a judge. 
Be 15 minutes early for the scheduled court date. Have the judgment form completed with the case caption (name of parties) typed or printed. Present the judgment form to the judge to complete and sign as appropriate.

If the landlord has been awarded a judgment against the tenant, and the tenant doesn't move out, the landlord must go back to court after five days to get a writ of restitution, which will allow the landlord to take possession of the rental unit. In some circumstances the landlord can obtain the writ of restitution the next court day. See Legal Info Sheet After an Eviction Judgment for more details. 


If the court denies a judgment against the tenant, the eviction action is over and the tenant may remain in possession of the rental unit.