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Eviction Process

** Chapter 441 of the Missouri Revised Statutes covers Landlord and Tenant laws. **

** Chapter 534 of the Missouri Revised Statutes covers Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainers. **


 

LCSO staff are not attorneys and are not permitted to offer legal advice. 
If you have questions regarding landlord / tenant issues, you should contact an attorney. 

 



A LANDLORD MAY NOT EVICT A TENANT WITHOUT A COURT ORDER. 

(A Notice to Vacate / Quit is NOT a court order.) 

 

The eviction process is a civil matter and is handled in Civil Court.

If you need assistance with filing a suit for eviction, you should contact an attorney.


The Linn County Sheriff's Office may only enforce Orders of the court obtained after a court hearing. 

 


 

Basic information regarding Landlord Tenant Law can be found at the Missouri Attorney General's website HERE.

You can also find the Landlord-Tenant Law publication provided by the MO Attorney General HERE

 

General Process for Removing a Tenant

You may serve the tenant with a Notice to Vacate / Quit, or you may have the Linn County Sheriff's Office serve this notice. In order for this office to serve a Notice to Vacate / Quit, the landlord must provide the document. We cannot legally provide you with a document or a draft of the document. 

The Notice to Vacate / Quit is not a court order. This document basically directs the person(s) to vacate from a specific address or location within 30 days of the notice being served. It must follow all guidelines provided by Missouri law. For assistance with this document, please contact an attorney. 

Once service has been made, the tenant has 30 days to vacate. If the tenant refuses to leave the property, the landlord's next step is to file a legal complaint with the Linn County Circuit Court for a landlord tenant action or unlawful detainer. Once the landlord has received a judgement for possession, the landlord should file for a Writ to Execute on the judgement for possession.

After an Execution for Rent and Possession (also known as an "eviction order") has been completed by the court and received by LCSO, the Sheriff will post the notice of eviction on the respondent's door. This order must bear the court seal and judge's signature. After five days, the landlord will need to see if the respondent is still living at the property. If the tenant has not left the property, the landlord will then need to contact the Linn County Sheriff's Office Civil Process Coordinator to schedule a date and time to have the tenants removed and regain possession of the property. The landlord is responsible for scheduling a locksmith and staff required to move property if needed. LCSO staff will not remove any remaining property. 

Once the date and time has been scheduled for removal of the tenants, only the landlord, the landlord's attorney, or a stay order from the court can stop the process. 

We serve a number of Notices to Vacate / Quit. However, we rarely receive a Writ to Execute and have to forcefully remove people from a residence once the tenant realizes that he or she is responsible for the total costs of the Sheriff's / deputy's time and efforts, and that the landlord is only obligated to set the property at the curb regardless of the weather. This is not how we would prefer to handle situations. Our suggestion is to not allow yourself to be placed in such a situation and be proactive in resolving any matter with your landlord.

On the day of removal, the following will occur:

  1. Linn County Sheriff's Office personnel will "knock and announce" themselves.
  2. If there is no answer, entry into the residence will be made by whatever means provided by the landlord (locksmith, key, drill out the lock, etc.)
  3. LCSO personnel will proceed into the structure and check for individuals.
    1. If any are located, they will be escorted from the property in a professional manner that ensures all parties present during the process will keep the peace.
      1. Any individual creating an environment that disturbs the peace of the process will be dealt with in a professional manner.
      2. Those not following the directives of the LCSO personnel, shall be subject to all manner of law up to and including arrest.
    2. Note if no individuals are located, the property will be turned over to the plaintiff/plaintiff representative with the same instructions for the personal property of the defendant as if the defendant were present.
  4. All personal property should then be removed to the curb line of the residence/ business property for 24 hours.
    1. This period allows the defendant to retrieve their property if they so desire.
    2. It is not the duty of the Sheriff's Office or the plaintiff to secure and guard these personal property items.
    3. For pets that have been left at the property, the Sheriff's Office will contact the local animal shelter and have the animal(s) removed and remanded to their custody at the defendant's expense.
  5. At the expiration of the 24 hour period it is the responsibility of the landlord or their representative to clean up and dispose of any property that remains at the eviction site.
  6. Municipalities have various rules regarding items left on the curb. While we respect these rules and strive to have communication with the municipalities, the municipal rules do not govern the procedures of the eviction.
  7. The deputy will then complete a signed return of service for the court. This action concludes the eviction process.

 

** The above procedure may vary depending on extenuating circumstances. **



General Responsibilities

Tenants Should:

  • Pay rent on time.
  • Use reasonable care and not damage property.
  • Properly dispose of trash.
  • Refrain from taking in additional occupants or subleasing without the Landlord's written permission.

Landlords Should:

  • Make property habitable before tenants move in.
  • Make and pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear.
  • Refrain from turning off a tenant's utilities.
  • Provide written notice to tenants when ownership of the property is transferred to a new landlord / owner.
  • Not unlawfully discriminate. 

 

A landlord may begin evictions proceedings if a tenant:

  • Damages property
  • Fails to pay rent.
  • Violates the terms of the lease.
  • Injures the lessor or another tenant.
  • Allows drug related or other criminal activity on the property.
  • Fails to vacate at the conclusion of the lease.
  • Allows a person to reside on the property whom the landlord has previously excluded.

FAQ
Below is a list of frequently asked questions concerning the eviction process.

Q: I live out of town. Do I as the plaintiff need to be there?
A: No, however you will need to have a representative present to protect your interest.


Q: I am the attorney, do I or a colleague need to be there?
A: No, however you will need to have the plaintiff or their representative present to take possession of the property.


Q: If I am being evicted and I am not home when the sheriff's office arrives, will you still put my personal items on the curb?
A: Yes


Q: I am a property management/eviction company. My company requires a Sheriff's signature on their paperwork, will you sign it?
A: No, the Linn County Sheriff's Office will only file a signed return to the court. However, you may ask the Sheriff's Office member for a photograph of them and their department issued vehicle as many institutions do, and they will be happy to comply. Please, be respectful making these requests so they do not conflict with the eviction process.


Q: The defendant has taken items that are part of my property, and I want to file a theft report. What do I do?
A: You will need to contact the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where your residence/business property location is to file the report. It is highly suggested that you contact your attorney to discuss further civil actions if warranted.


Q: I have hired a private eviction company to handle my eviction will the sheriff's office contact them with the date and time of the eviction?
A: No, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff or plaintiff representative to contact these subcontractors.


Q: I just received my judgment for possession of my property. Will the sheriff's office meet me at the property directly after court to place the defendants' possessions on the curb?
A: No, the procedure of the sheriff's office is to give the defendant notice. If this is the initial judgment for possession, there is generally a 10-day appeal process from the date of judgment until the eviction can be executed.


Q: I have a tenant that is behind on the rent; can I, as the property owner, go and change the locks until I get my money?
A: No, this violates the Revised Missouri Statutes. Please consult your attorney before any hasty decisions.


Q: How do I get my eviction expedited?
A: There is a specific revised Missouri statute that covers expedited eviction proceedings. Please consult with your attorney for specifics.


Q: The tenant was cooking meth in my property. I have just received my judgment for possession, but the house is condemned. Now what?
A: This is a case where expedited evictions are considered. Once you receive your judgment for possession, have your attorney contact the LCSO Civil Process Coordinator to discuss the options available to gain possession of the property as soon as practical so you can lawfully mitigate the property. Note that Linn County Sheriff's Office personnel will not enter property that is still condemned and not remediated unless exigent circumstances exist.


Q: How do I evict someone that I am letting stay in my basement/spare bedroom etc...?
A: You may need to follow the same court procedure as a landlord/property owner utilizing some type of civil remedy. Please consult with your attorney for your options.


Q: Can I enter into my rental property, even though it is occupied by a tenant, any time I feel it necessary?
A: As the owner of property you have the right to protect the property. The terms of leases vary greatly. Contact your attorney to ensure you have the best available information.


Q: Why do you keep saying to contact your attorney, isn't the Sheriff's Office the authority?
A: The Linn County Sheriff's Office cannot provide legal advice in any matter, criminal or civil.

 


Contact the Linn County Sheriff's Office Civil Process Coordinator

Via Email: Click HERE

Phone: (660) 895-5312 ext. 1

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Office Hours:
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115 W. Jackson Street
Linneus, MO 64653