How to File an Appeal of an Eviction Case

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If you lost your eviction case before the judge, and the judge required you to move to move out of a property, you may want to appeal the case. There is a way to appeal the case successfully.

  1. How Long Do I Have to Appeal?

You have 10 days including weekends and holidays in which to file your appeal, but you shouldn’t wait until the 10th day. The date from which you should start counting is a date on the bottom of the Express Evictions notice of the judgment, which is usually located right beside the judge’s signature.

  1. Do I Need to Pay Any Money to File the Appeal?

If you’re a low-income, you can ask the file your appeal for free. This is called an IFP or in forma pauperis. You’ll be given a form to complete and you’ll take that form to a judge, who will then sign it. If you want to stay in the property while the appeal is pending, you have to pay your monthly rent into an escrow account at the court while your case is on appeal. However, if the judge found that you owe rent then you have to pay one-third of a month’s rent when you file your appeal. You will then be required to pay the remaining two-thirds of your monthly rent within 20 days. 10 days after that you must pay your full monthly rent. Therefore within 30 days of your appeal, you will have to pay two months’ rent. You will then have to pay your ongoing monthly rent every 30 days while your case is on appeal.

  1. What if I Already Paid My Landlord the Rent for This Month?

If you have already paid the rent for the month in which you are appealing, you will not have to pay additional rent at the time that your appeal is filed. You will need to tell the staff at the courthouse that you have already paid your rent for the month when you file your appeal. You also need to write this information on the affidavit form they give you to fill out. It would also help if you have a receipt to prove that you’ve paid your rent for that particular month.

  1. What Forms Will I Be Asked to Fill Out?

You will also be given the appeal form with instructions on how to fill everything out. Complete the appeal paperwork carefully and closely, following any instructions you may be given. Return everything to the cashier and pay your first rental escrow payment if required. You may not have to pay anything if the judge found that you owed no rent. The cashier will give you a date-stamped copy of your appeal so you can prove that you appealed on time. Keep this in a safe place, in case your landlord tries to lock you out and you need proof that you filed the appeal in.

  1. What Do I Have to Do Once I Receive the Complaint?

You must file a response to the complaint within 20 days. In most states, this is typically done by filling out and filing the notice of intent to appear form that was sent to you with the complaint. Moreover, you can file an answer in which you respond to each paragraph of the complaint. If you do not file a written response to the complaint, the landlord can make a default judgment against you. This means that you will lose even before the hearing in the case is over.

  1. What Do I Need to Take With Me to the Appeal Hearing?

You should have any witnesses come to the hearing with you. You should take any evidence you have, such as receipts, counsel checks, bank statements to support your position. If you have pictures to show habitability issues, you must date and organize your pictures and make sure they clearly show the problem. After the landlord, you will be able to tell your side to the arbitration panel or judge and give them any evidence that you have. The arbitration panel or judge will then make a decision and mail it to you. If you had an arbitration hearing, you have 30 days from the date of the arbitration hearing to appeal the decision to get a new hearing before a judge.