The Magistrate's Court does not have the authority to hear disputes over real estate unless there is a landlord-tenant relationship between you and the opposing party. If you and the opposing party are not in a landlord-tenant relationship, then an eviction is not proper, and the Magistrate's Court should dismiss the eviction.
This issue often comes up where one party is buying land from another instead of renting it. These purchase agreements often have names such as "Bond for Title," "Land Sale Contract," or "Rent to Own" contract. If you are buying property instead of leasing it, and you breach that purchase contract, then it is not proper for the seller to file for eviction as if you were only leasing.
Having a claim to title is a defense to an eviction, but special rules decide what you must do to present that defense to a magistrate court.
First, you must put your answer in writing. In the writing, you must describe the matter showing that such title will come in question. So, if you have a written "Bond for Title" contract, you would say that you have a purchase contract and that you are buying the property, not renting it.
Second, you must deliver what is called an Undertaking to the magistrate court at the same time that you deliver your written answer to the court. What the Undertaking says is that if the plaintiff files a case in the circuit court within twenty days, you agree to accept service of that lawsuit.
In other words, you will not dodge service, and if you do dodge service, your surety will pay a $100 penalty. You must have someone sign as a surety for the undertaking. This can be a friend, family member, or anyone else who is good for $100. If the plaintiff files a new case in the circuit court and you refuse to accept service, your surety will lose the $100. You can find an Undertaking form to use at the end of this Lesson.