Landlords may file an eviction complaint any
time without the complaint being reviewed.
EVICTION PACKET GUIDELINES & INFORMATION
** IMPORTANT HOUSING COURT INSTRUCTIONS **
- Read all instructions thoroughly.
- When filling out the complaint, refer to the example forms.
- Neatly print or type all forms.
- Have your complaint completely filled out when you come in to file your eviction.
Evictions can be filed 7AM - 4PM Monday - Friday.
- When filing, have the original and two copies of the complaint for EACH
- When filing, have the $150.00 filing fee with you (1 or 2 tenants) $10.00 Each
- The Housing Court referee and Fair Housing staff MAY NOT
assist you in filling out the forms.
- If you are unable to fill out the forms yourself, you should probably contact an
attorney. (*Note: Increase in filing fees)
Housing Court Rules
The following rules have been promulgated for the Housing Court Division of the Sandusky
Municipal Court. Cases to be heard by the Housing Magistrate shall include, non-jury forcible
entry and detainer actions, related claims for back rent and damages, rent escrow cases, and
housing code violation cases.
Eviction actions, legally known as forcible entry and detainer (FED) actions
may be filed by plaintiffs without the service of an attorney.
INDIVIDUALS MAY ONLY REPRESENT THEMSELVES, they
may not represent corporations, partnerships, or other individuals. Private individuals desiring
to file FED actions shall obtain court approved forms and complete sample forms from the Housing Office
at no charge. Copies of the forms may be used for subsequent FED actions. A copy of the Housing
Court shall be given all private individuals filing FED actions.
Complaints and all other pleadings shall be typed or printed.
Pleadings which are not typed or printed will not be filed. Individual landlords filing evictions
shall be required to pay the filing fee, plus a surcharge equal to ten percent (10%) of the filing fee.
Normally, hearing dates should be set 20 days from the date of filing of the complaint.
Eviction hearings will be set on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3:30PM.
At the time of the eviction hearing, the plaintiff and the plaintiff's attorney (if any), shall be
present or the case may be dismissed. No continuances of longer than 7 days will be granted and continuances
will only be granted in accordance with Section 1923.08 of the Ohio Revised Code.
If the defendant fails to appear at the hearing for possession, no default
judgment on the cause of action shall be ordered unless testimony from the plaintiff regarding the
proper form and service of the 3 day notice on the defendants as well as the reason why possession
of the property is being sought. If a second cause of action has been filed alleging money damages,
after the issue of possession has been determined, the cause will be continued for the defendant to
answer within 28 days of the filing of the complaint.
In cases where the defendant files an answer, the case will be set for hearing. If
the defendant fails to appear or otherwise defend, default judgment my be entered.
In any hearing before the Housing Court Magistrate, the Ohio Rules of Civil procedures
apply. After the hearing, the Magistrate shall prepare a Magistrate's Decision, which may immediately
be approved, disapproved, or modified by the Judge.
In cases where a writ of restitution is issued, the bailiff will serve the defendant
with the writ. Once the writ is served, the landlord may take possession of the property back.
When Filing an Eviction Complaint You Must Have The Following:
- The original complaint and two copies for each defendant;
- The filing fee of $105.00 (1 or 2 tenants) $10.00 each additional defendant.
- Individual landlords filing evictions for property in Bayview, Perkins Township,
and the Village of Castalia shall be required to pay the filing fee, plus a surcharge equal
to ten percent (10%) of the filing fee.
When inquiring about your case, you must be able to provide the case number.
Rent Escrow Process
Rent Escrow is the process that by which a tenant to pay rent to the Court instead
of the landlord. This process allows a tenant to take action against a landlord to make repairs to
a rental property. The specific law the governs this process is found in sections 1923.061, 5321.07, and
5321.08 and Ohio Revised Code.
You may escrow rent if your landlord has violated his repair obligations
that materially affect your health and safety. Examples include:
- Failing to keep electrical, plumbing, or heating in good working order.
- Failing to supply heat and hot water at all times.
- Failing to make necessary repairs to the rental unit available.
Before you escrow your rent with the Court, the law requires the following:
- You MUST give your landlord written notice of the violations. You may either
mail it to him ot her or deliver it personally. If you want to be sure your landlord receives the notice
you may send it by certified mail or "return receipt requested". Always make a copy of the notice
before you send it.
- You MUST identify specific violations.
- You MUST give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to correct the
violations, about 30 days. If the violations are severe, such as no heat, 48 hours may be considered a
reasonable amount of time.
- You MUST be current with your rent. It is important that you always get and
keep receipts whenever you pay rent.
- The violations MUST not be caused by your own actions.
- The condition MUST materially affect ones health and safety. This process
cannot be used for purely cosmetic repairs such as mildly peeling paint.
If your landlord has failed to make the requested repairs you may then go to the Clerk of
Courts and ask to escrow your rent the next time your rent is due. Bring your rent, the written notice
that you gave your landlord, the certified returned receipt (if your mailed the written notice), and
rent receipts to show that you are current with your rent. You should also request to have the rental unit
inspected by contacting your local Code Enforcement Office.
The Clerk will give you oan application to fill out. Attach the notice to the application.
The Clerk will notify the landlord that you have escrowed your rent. You can petition the court
to release the rent to pay for the repairs.
** This information should in no way be construed as legal advice. It is intended only
as informational and for the sole purpose of informing the general public of the basic rent escrow process. If
you feel that you may need legal advice, free legal assistance is available through Legal Aid of Western
Ohio (LAWO) for those who qualify. You may contact LAWO by calling the Legal Aid line at 1-888-534-1432
ir you may apply online at www.legalaidline.org**
Landlords may obtain default judgments against their tenants for back rent owed. If a landlord is
seeking additional reimbursement for damages to the property, or if the tenant appears at the eviction hearing, a
second hearing must be held.
Important Information On Damage Claims
Questions have arisen concerning the information required in the Second Cause of Action of
eviction complaints. The Second Cause of Action is the request for damages arising from the tenancy. The
First Cause of Action is the request to obtain possession of the property back. The First Cause of action
will generally be scheduled approximately fourteen days after the complaint was filed. The Second Cause of
Action will be scheduled after the First Cause of Action has occurred and will take place approximately sixty
to ninety days after the complaint has been filed.
When filing out the Second Cause of Action, an amount that is owed is requested. That amount
should reflect the total amount which is owed at the time, including all rent, utilities, and reimbursement for
known property damages. It is understood that damages may exist in the rental property which cannot be determined
until after the tenant vacates the property. One attempt to recover these additional damages if the proper
language is added to the complaint. If additional damages are anticipated, the following language should be added
to the complaint, "Plaintiff further requests compensation for any additional damages which are found accrue after
the tenants vacate".
IF YOU DO NOT ADD THIS LANGUAGE TO YOUR COMPLAINT, OR AMEND YOUR COMPLAINT BEFORE THE
SECOND CAUSE HEARING, YOUR RECOVERY WILL BE LIMITED TO THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT STATED.