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Jackson County

Evictions - Unlawful Detainer/
Complaint Procedures

Office located on the 2nd Floor
District Civil Division
Telephone: 256-574-9276

EFFECTIVE JAN 1, 2007 - ACT NO. 2006-316 -
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
REGARDING LANDLORD/TENANT RELATIONS EVICTIONS


Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act
 Procedures and Guidelines for Filing Unlawful Detainer Actions in the District Court

IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU CONSULT AN ATTORNEY BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS LEGAL ACTION. THE STAFF OF THE CLERK’S OFFICE CANNOT ADVISE YOU OR ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS PROCEDURE.

Unlawful Detainer Actions are the remedy for eviction in a landlord tenant relationship----Title 6, Code of Alabama . Effective Date: January 1, 2007. Some existing lease provisions remain until lease renews in 2007.

WHO MAY FILE ACTIONS

Individuals representing themselves or an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Alabama.

JURISDICTION

District Court and Circuit Court have concurrent jurisdiction. Actions seeking injunctive relief must be filed in the Circuit Court . Injunctive relief is defined as seeking to obtain an order to either command or prohibit an action. Rules of Civil Procedure govern.

NOTICE TO TENANT

The landlord must give a written seven calendar day notice if the reason for the eviction is for failure to pay rent, or a written fourteen calendar day notice if the reason for the eviction is for anything else. The purpose of the notice is to terminate tenancy rights. Notice must provide for right to pay any delinquent rents or correct any lease prohibitions also known as the right to cure.

INITIATED BY FILING A COMPLAINT

Form No. C-59. The Landlord/Plaintiff may sue for possession of property and for money damages in the same action.

Click here for a list of filing fees.

Please include a copy of the “Notice to Tenant” when filing an original action.

Counterclaims are allowed by the defendant/tenant, and there is no filing fee for this action in District Court.

To download Unlawful Detainer Form
(form C-59) CLICK HERE

(Please make sure you make copies of this form after you have completed it. The court will need an original and two copies per defendant. If copies are not made when you come in to file your claim, there will be a charge of $.50 per page to make them for you. Please type or print when completing the form)

SERVICE

Personal service must be attempted for a complaint for possession. If unable to make personal service, the complaint may be served by posting a copy on the premises. If posted on the premises, the Sheriff/process server must also mail a copy of complaint to defendant by first class mail. Tile 6-6-332, Code of Alabama.

Complaint for money must be served in accordance with Rule 4, Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure which requires service by certified mail or personal service by either the Sheriff's office or a private process server – it cannot be posted.

ANSWER

The tenant has seven business days (no weekends or holidays) to file an answer to complaint for possession of property. Fourteen calendar days to file an answer to money claim (if filed in the District Court).

IF NO ANSWER FILED, an application and affidavit for default may be filed. Filing fee for filing for default is $50.00 per defendant.

To download Application for Default Judgment (signature needs to be notarized) Form number C-25B CLICK HERE

To download Writ of Restitution or Possession -
Form number C-59A CLICK HERE

APPEALS

If the case is filed in the District Court, any appeal would go to the Circuit Court. Appealed cases must be set in the Circuit Court within 60 days. (If the case is filed in the Circuit Court, the appeal would go to the Court of Civil Appeals.) The time for filing an appeal is seven calendar days from the final order or from the ruling on a post-trial motion. A post-trial motion filed before a Notice of Appeal is filed would greatly extend the time for filing a Notice of Appeal.

Order entered by District Court Judge should set the amount of appeal bond which would be two amounts based on past due rent and accruing rent. If the District Court Judge fails to set a bond before Notice of Appeal to Circuit Court is filed, the Circuit Court Judge will set bond upon filing of a motion.

In order stop the eviction while the appeal is pending, an appeal bond MUST be posted. The bond money is paid to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Affidavit of Substantial Hardship does not waive the posting of this bond to stop the eviction while the appeal is pending. If the tenant does not post a bond, it has no effect on the appeal only on his right to possession of the property during the time the appeal is pending.

ENFORCEMENT OF COURT ORDER

In order for property to be returned to the landlord, the landlord must file a request for a Writ of Restitution or Possession (Form C-59A). A Writ of Restitution or Possession cannot be requested until after the time for the filing of a post-judgment motion and the appeal time has expired, which is seven days from the date of the judgment in the District Court.

This information is being provided to you for the purpose of explaining the guidelines and procedures of this office in the filing of Unlawful Detainer actions in the District Court and should in no way be construed as legal advice. Should you have any questions or need additional information, it is recommended that you see an attorney.