Unlawful Detainer & Evictions

Unlawful Detainer Action

An Unlawful Detainer Action is required in order to evict a tenant from rental property. Minnesota State Statutes, Chapter 504B regulates these actions.

Common reasons for evicting a tenant:
  • Delinquent rent payments.
  • Violation of lease provisions.
  • Failure to move after 30 day written notice.
  • Landlord is notified by law enforcement authorities of narcotics sales or activities on the tenant's premises.
  • A mortgage foreclosure.
  • Cancellation of a Contract for Deed.
To commence an Unlawful Detainer Action, the property owner (plaintiff) must file a Complaint In Unlawful Detainer with the:
Court Administrator
Anoka County Courthouse
 2100 3rd St.
Anoka MN 55303
Complaint forms can be purchased at stationery stores that sell legal forms or from Anoka County Court Administration.

When a complaint has been filed, the court administrator will set a court date, issue a summons, and provide the plaintiff with enough copies of the summons and complaint to serve each defendant. If the tenant has unknown parties living on the premises, the plaintiff can list John Doe, Mary Roe, etc. as additional defendants.

The summons and complaint must be served on each tenant/defendant no less than eight days before the court date, exclusive of the court date. The service must be made by a third person who is not part of the court action. A notarized Affidavit of Service must be filed with the Court Administrator before the date of the court hearing.

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office Civil Unit can serve the papers on the tenant/defendant. The original summons, plus copies of the summons and complaint for the defendants should be delivered as soon as the plaintiff receives them to:

Anoka County Sheriff's Office
Civil Unit
13301 Hanson Blvd NW
Andover, MN 55304
The Sheriff’s Office will attempt to serve the papers on at least two different days; one day before 6 p.m. and one day after 6 p.m. If the Deputy does not find the defendants at home on either attempt the Deputy will post the summons and complaint on the door of the premises involved in the action. If the Deputy posts the notice you will be contacted by the Sheriff’s Office and informed that the service was “posted.”

The deputy will complete the appropriate Certificate of Service and the original summons and Certificate of Service will be filed with the Court Administrator’s Office by the sheriff. If the service is by posting, the plaintiff is required to mail a copy of the summons and complaint to each defendant by first class mail. The plaintiff must also complete and file a notarized Affidavit of Mailing with the court administrator. If posting is required the court will check the court file to ensure the Affidavit of Mailing is on file with the court at least four days before the hearing.


An eviction is a court action that determines who has a legal right to possess certain real property. The eviction is not intended to recover unpaid rent. If a judge finds in favor of the plaintiff at the hearing, a Writ of Recovery will be authorized. This is an order for the sheriff to restore the premises to the plaintiff. The writ must be taken to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Civil Unit for service. The writ is valid for only 30 days. The plaintiff should not delay in presenting the writ to the Sheriff. A Deputy will serve the writ on the defendants if they are home or it will be posted on the door of the premises. In either case the defendants are provided with a 24 hour notice which advises that the sheriff can remove the defendants 24 hours after the posting. Tenants who return are subject to trespassing.
If the defendants fail to vacate the premises, the plaintiff must contact the Anoka County Sheriff's Office to schedule an eviction. When scheduled, two options are available for storage of the defendant’s property:
  • On site storage for 28 days
  • Contract with a licensed and bonded mover to inventory and remove the property
If the first option is chosen, deputies will remove the defendants and stand by until the plaintiff has completed an inventory of the premises. In order to recover their property the defendants must contact the plaintiff within 28 days and make arrangements to pick it up. The plaintiff is obligated to release the property. It is recommended, but not required, that the recovery of the property be handled on a one time/date basis. If the property has not been picked up within 28 days the property is considered abandoned (see Minnesota Statutes 504B.271, Tenant's Personal Property Remaining in Premises.)

If the second option is selected, the plaintiff must contract with a licensed and bonded mover and make arrangements to have the mover there at the time of the eviction. Deputies will remove the defendants and stand by until the moving company has loaded the property and completed an inventory. The plaintiff has a lien for the moving and storage expenses only. The defendant has 60 days in which to repossess the property and may be required to pay the moving and storage costs before the property is released.

The value of the personal property is often less than the moving expenses and since the plaintiff is responsible for paying the movers, this option is selected less often.