If you are being evicted in the state of Missouri, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Missouri can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Missouri and how long each step will take.
In order to evict you, your landlord must first give you reasonable notice that there is a problem. If you have not paid rent or you have violated the tenets of your lease agreement in a material way, you will be subject to the eviction process in Missouri.
While most states specify a length of time between being served with a notice and beginning eviction proceedings, the eviction process in Missouri does not specify an exact amount of time for the notice if it is due to late payment of rent. Your landlord will tell you in the notice how long you have to pay before beginning eviction proceedings.
If the eviction is due to a breach of your lease agreement other than failure to pay rent, you will be given a 30 day notice that allows you to remedy the issue (for instance, by re-homing an unauthorized pet or cleaning up damage done to the unit).
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not respond to the notice you are given, the eviction process in Missouri continues when your landlord goes to court to file a complaint at the district courthouse. This begins an eviction lawsuit. You will be served with a copy of both the complaint, which details why you are being evicted, and a summons, which tells you that you are summoned to court and gives you a hearing date.
You are not required to attend the hearing, but if you fail to appear, your landlord will win the case automatically and the eviction process in Missouri will continue. If you have been discriminated or retaliated against by your landlord, if your landlord failed to provide proper notice, or if your landlord has violated tenets of your lease, you may be able to win an eviction suit.
If you win your suit, you will not be evicted, the eviction process in Missouri will stop, and you may even be eligible to collect damages from your landlord. Talk to a lawyer experienced with the eviction process in Missouri to better understand your rights and legal options.
Writ of Restitution/Notice to Vacate
If your landlord wins at the hearing, you will have ten days to appeal the court's ruling. If you prefer not to appeal, you can use this ten day time period to vacate the premises before any further action is taken.
If you do not file an appeal, or if you lose your appeal, after 10 days the landlord can apply to the court for a sheriff removal. Sheriff removal is the final step of the eviction process in Missouri, and allows the sheriff to come into your home (even if he must break in) and remove you forcibly.