An eviction lawsuit begins after the landlord properly terminates your lease. The landlord goes to the local magistrate's court and files what is called an Application for Ejectment. A copy of an Application for Ejectment can be viewed below. In the Application, the landlord must check a box stating why you are being evicted. If you are being evicted for not paying rent, the landlord should write down how much rent is due. And if the landlord is evicting you for breaching your lease, the landlord should write down what you did to breach your lease.
After the landlord files the Application for Ejectment, the magistrate court issues what is called a Rule to Vacate or Show Cause. Often this is referred to as just a "Rule." A copy of a Rule to Vacate or Show Cause can be viewed below. The top half of the Rule is where the magistrate judge says why the landlord is seeking to have you evicted. It also instructs you to respond to EITHER (1) Vacate the property within ten (10) days or (2) contact the magistrate court to give a legal reason why you should not be evicted. The bottom half of the Rule is where the person who serves the Rule should fill in the dates and times that service was attempted and also the date and time for when the Rule was officially served on you.
The date of service is very important. We will talk about how a Rule should be served, and how you can respond, in the next Lesson.