Definitions and Terms

Complaint for Eviction

 

A written statement made by the Plaintiff (Landlord) detailing the legal claims against the Defendant (Tenant).

 

Costs

 

Fees and charges the Plaintiff pays to file the case or collect on the judgment. 

 

Default judgment

A judgment awarded by the court against one of the parties because they didn't show up for the hearing.

 

Defendant

 

An individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law

 

Dismissal

When the judge dismisses the case because the Plaintiff didn't come to court. It means that the Defendant does not have to pay anything.

 

Execution

The court ordering the sheriff's office to take property owned by the judgment debtor to pay the debt that is owed.

 

Garnishment

 

Taking a percentage of the judgment debtor's wages on a regular basis in order to pay the debt owed.

 

Judgment

The amount the judge says is owed by the debtor.

 

Landlord

 

A person who rents land, a building, or an apartment to a tenant.

 

Plaintiff

 

A person who brings a case against another in a court of law.

 

Proof of service

A document filed with the court stating that a party has been properly presented with copies of the court papers.

 

Response

Paperwork by the Defendant that is filed with the court in response to Plaintiff’s Complaint.

 

Satisfaction of judgment

Paperwork by the judgment creditor that is filed with the court acknowledging that a debt has been paid.

Service

 

Delivering the court paperwork to the person who is being sued.

 

Settlement

The parties coming to an agreement between themselves without involving the judge or jury.

Statute of limitations

The period of time during which a lawsuit can be filed.

 

Summons

A notice telling the Defendant that he or she is being sued and must appear in court.

 

Tenant

 

A person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

 

Writ of Execution

A judicial order that a judgment be enforced.

 

Writ of Possession

A writ of possession is an order granted by a court which allows a person not currently in possession of a property to take possession of the property.