Landlords, Tenant Eviction Process

Purpose of an Eviction Action

An eviction is a court action which determines who has legal right to possession of certain real property.

For additional information visit the Self Help Center on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website or visit the Anoka County Law Library.

Reasons for Bringing an Eviction Action

The most common cause for an eviction action is nonpayment of rent. Other instances that may prompt an eviction action are:

  • Tenant's failure to vacate after proper notice has been received or after the lease has expired
  • Violation of the terms of a lease, which provides for eviction
  • Cancellation of a contract for deed
  • Foreclosure of a mortgage

An eviction action is to recover real property, it is not intended to recover back rent.

Eviction Case Hearings

The court at the Anoka County Courthouse hears eviction cases. The hearing date must be set seven to fourteen days after the complaint is filed. You are given a hearing date when you file your complaint with the court administrator. You can file an eviction complaint in this court only if the property in question is located in Anoka County. You will need to file the original complaint.


You must know the following:

  • The appropriate date the tenant entered into the lease agreement or took occupancy
  • Proper, complete address of the plaintiff(s) in question
  • Proper, complete address of the defendant(s) in question
  • Length and terms of the lease, or if tenancy is month-to-month
  • Specify your reason(s) for wanting the tenant evicted

The Summons

It is your responsibility as plaintiff to see that the summons and complaint is served properly on the defendant in one of three ways:

  • Personal Service - You, the plaintiff, cannot personally serve the summons.
  • Substitute Service - Substitute service must be made at least seven days before the date of the hearing. A summons and complaint cannot be made served or attempted on Sundays or legal holidays.
  • Mailing and Posting - If the defendant cannot be found or if service has been attempted at least twice on different days with at least one of the attempts having been made between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., you may deliver the summons and complaint by way of mailing and posting.

Mailing & Posting

When mailing and posting, you must:

  • Obtain an affidavit of mailing, an affidavit of not found, and an affidavit of posting.
  • Promptly mail a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant(s) at his/her last known address. Prepare the affidavit of mailing. Mail the affidavit and the original sealed summons and complaint back to the court at least three days before your court date.
  • Have another copy of the summons and complaint posted in a conspicuous place on the defendant's premises for at least seven days before the hearing date. The person who posted the summons and complaint must fill out the affidavit of posting and file with the court administrator.

For any of the three methods of service, the affidavits must be filed with the Anoka County District Court administrator at least three days before the hearing.

The Court Process

The defendant in the case will be asked if he/she admits or denies the allegations. At this point, either party may request a court trial or a jury trial. The law requires the trial to be held within six days unless there is agreement to a later time.

The Court Decision

Once a decision is made, the judge will sign a document entitled Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment directing that judgment be entered in favor of the rightful party. If the defendant wins, no further action is taken. If the plaintiff wins, you may ask the judge for a writ of recovery (Minnesota Statute 504B.361). A writ of recovery is a legal order commanding the defendant to vacate the premises identified in the complaint.

After the Hearing

Once the Sheriff of Anoka County has served the writ, the defendant has 24 hours to vacate the premises. A fee must be paid to Court Administration to issue the writ of recovery. View the fee for issuing the writ. The sheriff, who will also charge you a fee for this service, must serve the writ. The sheriff may serve the Writ upon the defendant personally, or, if that is not possible, he may post the writ in a conspicuous place.

Execution of the Writ of Recovery

If the defendant fails to comply with the Writ, the plaintiff should notify the sheriff. The personal property of the defendant may be removed and stored in a bonded warehouse at the expense of the plaintiff. The defendant has 60 days to redeem the stored property. If unclaimed after 60 days, the property may be sold at a public sale.