The Columbus Legal Aid Society has a new Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP). Tenants needing help with their evictions on the morning of their hearings can stop by the TAP table on the 11th Floor of the Franklin County Municipal Court, 375 South High Street.
A tenant in the Ohio eviction process may assert any of the following defenses:
Depending on the reason for the eviction, the Ohio eviction notice may be 3-days or 30-days.
For nonpayment of rent or in cases where the landlord has knowledge of a search warrant executed against the tenant or a person living on the property for illegal drug activity, the notice is 3-days.
For matters concerning a breach or violation of a material provision in the written lease, the Ohio eviction notice is 30-days. This also applies to month-to-month tenancies where a full rental month’s notice is required.
These notices may be served personally on the tenant or given to someone residing there, or it may be posted on the unit door or left in a conspicuous location.
Summons and Complaint
Should the tenant not pay the overdue rent within the 3-day period or the tenant has not complied and cured the lease provision violation within 30-days, the landlord must file and serve a Summons and Eviction Complaint.
The documents can be served personally, by leaving it at the tenant’s residence or it may be served by certified mail. The tenant must be given at least 7 days (not counting Sundays and holidays) between service of the Summons and the court date.
A tenant may file an Answer to the Complaint by denying the allegations and file it by the court date if he or she wishes to contest the eviction.
If the tenant is contesting the eviction, the court will typically reschedule the hearing for up to 8 days. The tenant will also be asked to post a bond. The parties are entitled to a jury trial if timely requested, otherwise a court trial will be held.
At the eviction hearing, the landlord must prove that the tenant has not paid the overdue rent or has violated some material provision of the lease. Rent receipts, damage estimates, photographs, police reports and witness testimony may be presented. The tenant may also present any evidence to refute the allegations or prove any counterclaims if alleged at the time the Answer is filed.
Judgment/ Writ of Execution
Per Franklin County Municipal Court Local Rule 6.08 should actual, physical set-out of property be required pursuant to a writ of restitution of premises, plaintiff shall file with the clerk's office a "Request for Set-Out" on the form designated by the court, and pay the fee provided in Loc. R. 13, Schedule 9.00. The form must be filed and the fee paid within ten days after the issuance of the writ of execution for restitution.
Plaintiff shall arrange for sufficient workers to be present, at plaintiff's expense, to accomplish the set-out within one and one-half hours, under the supervision of the Franklin County Municipal Court Service Bailiff's Office. No set out shall occur until five (5) days after service by the service bailiff of a red tag notice to vacate the premises. Request for an immediate set out from the premises shall be made at the time of the eviction hearing.