Eviction time in Cook County

41 Replies

Would any of you please share how much time it took you to evict a tenant in (Cook County of other Places) after giving a five day notice? I have started eviction of a tenant on February 11th and the case is still lingering on in the courts.

Thanks Joel. I decided to go with an attorney after the tenant showed up with his attorney. I was just checking people's personal experiences. Attorney usually give lawyerly answers depends on scenario, depends on what tenant attorney throws out etc.

Cook County isn't the best for landlords. (All my properties are in Cook County) The process usually goes something like this (not legal advice)
1. Serve 5 day notice
2. If the tenant hasn't paid by day 5 (you can count weekends but day 5 has to be a weekday), then you can file for Joint Action, which is for possession and rent money. You are assigned a court date about 2-3 weeks from date of filing.
3. In Cook County, it is required that the sheriff serve the summons first. In my experience, they are successful about 66% of the time. If the sheriff cannot serve them, then on the first court date you ask the judge for an alias summons to have a process server give the summons.
4. On the court date, if the tenant had been served, then the judge will hear the case. If the tenant does not showup, then you get a default judgment. If the tenant shows up and presents no defense, then the judge usually gives them 2 weeks to stay and you get a money judgment. The court would prefer if you came into an agreement with a tenant before stepping in front of the judge.
5. If the tenant stays beyond the date stated in the order of possession, then the order must be filed with the sheriff. Now this is where Cook County fails the landlord. In good weather, it will take another 20-30 days for the sheriff to comeout. Currently, it is about 10-12 weeks since they basically did no evictions in Jan and part of Feb because of the cold.

Of course, tenants can bring up defenses and other motions, which would further delay the process.

Cook County landlords: Tenant screening is very important.

my longest was 6 months my shortest was 3

Thanks everyone. My tenant has a lawyer who is filing a motion and I am afraid is going for jury trial. I must be ready for 6 months although I will like 3 months.

Originally posted by @Sadim M. :
... 5. If the tenant stays beyond the date stated in the order of possession, then the order must be filed with the sheriff. Now this is where Cook County fails the landlord. In good weather, it will take another 20-30 days for the sheriff to comeout. Currently, it is about 10-12 weeks since they basically did no evictions in Jan and part of Feb because of the cold.
Of course, tenants can bring up defenses and other motions, which would further delay the process. Cook County landlords: Tenant screening is very important.

I can sympathize with you @Atul Mohlajee - after they stayed past the court-ordered date of possession (Dec. 5) and we filed with the sheriff, the tenants in the building we purchased were finally thrown out by the sheriff on March 14!!!

The sheriff doesn't do evictions from about mid-December to early January and they don't do them if it's too cold.... so at least you won't have that to deal with

Good luck with your eviction

Larry

I am going through the same thing right now.

@Sadim M.

Thanks for the info.

I am currently between step 4 and 5

I filed for the eviction the week of February 23 The special process server, served my tenants on the 16th of this month. The court date was the 25. The judge told them be out by April 15th.....Hopefully they are gone before then.

Originally posted by @Sadim M. :
Cook County isn't the best for landlords. (All my properties are in Cook County) The process usually goes something like this (not legal advice) 1. Serve 5 day notice 2. If the tenant hasn't paid by day 5 (you can count weekends but day 5 has to be a weekday), then you can file for Joint Action, which is for possession and rent money. You are assigned a court date about 2-3 weeks from date of filing. 3. In Cook County, it is required that the sheriff serve the summons first. In my experience, they are successful about 66% of the time. If the sheriff cannot serve them, then on the first court date you ask the judge for an alias summons to have a process server give the summons. 4. On the court date, if the tenant had been served, then the judge will hear the case. If the tenant does not showup, then you get a default judgment. If the tenant shows up and presents no defense, then the judge usually gives them 2 weeks to stay and you get a money judgment. The court would prefer if you came into an agreement with a tenant before stepping in front of the judge. 5. If the tenant stays beyond the date stated in the order of possession, then the order must be filed with the sheriff. Now this is where Cook County fails the landlord. In good weather, it will take another 20-30 days for the sheriff to comeout. Currently, it is about 10-12 weeks since they basically did no evictions in Jan and part of Feb because of the cold.
Of course, tenants can bring up defenses and other motions, which would further delay the process.

Cook County landlords: Tenant screening is very important.

Do they evict on the weekends???

@Jarrett Harris They do not evict on weekends. But for some good news, the sheriff usually only does evictions M-F 8am-12pm, but since last week has been doing them until 3pm to try to clear the backlog.

Well I am now at step number 5 My tenants did not move out this past Tuesday......I know, what a shock. My wife went to speak to them on that day and the they told her they have no where to go and will most likely have to go to a shelter. My Lawyer filed with the sheriff Yesterday and was told the current back log for Order of possession is about 4 1/2 weeks at this point.

Yesterday, was a trial date to respond to the tenant attorney,s motion that disputed validity of 5-day notice and sherriff's summon as they were handed to tenant's brother who has lived there for 8 months. We won the trial and the motion was dismissed. Tenant attorney showed up but the tenant did not. In two weeks, there will be final trial where tenant has to prove he paid the rent in Feb, March, and April. Tenant attorney is mad because he has not been paid plus tenant texted him while attorney was at the court to say that he is not coming. Hope to get this guy out soon.

Good news. It looks like you will have an easier time than I have had in the last couple of years getting rid of non-paying tenants in Crook County. Just keep careful watch on your property because it seems to me that this tenant will probably just leave unannounced, and you don't want an unsecured unit.

The latest defense tactic that I have been seeing in Cook is lawyers who show up on behalf of a defendant in an eviction case demanding $500 from you along with an agreement to drop the money case with prejudice as well as give the tenant 2 months more to move. If you do not agree, they file a bunch of meritless counterclaims that you have to respond to and disprove, which involves massive amounts of paperwork and documentation. The case also goes to trial (although they request jury trials, they never happen-both sides always agree to bench trials). The good news is, though, that the eviction trials have been really sped up to just a couple of weeks, whereas before you would have to wait up to 3 months for a trial date, and defense lawyers used this as a stall tactic.

I made the mistake of going to 2 trials last year. One the tenant never showed up to and I ended up with a judgement. The other was a one day bench trial in which the judge took the tenant's side on all of the claims and reduced a 10k case all the way down to 2k. It was a total joke, not to mention the attorney's fees I had to pay as well. I would never do it again.

I would encourage all Cook landlords to avoid the court system whenever possible unless it is absolutely necessary.

@Eric S.

Wow can you explain more on the $10K being dropped to $2K

Also as an update. My tenants are still squatting in my apartment. At this point nothing has changed. Someone bent and broke 2 of the gate latches on my property. I am pretty sure it was the squatters/tenants I am evicting or someone they know in the neighborhood. Hopefully they are gone very soon. I want them out so I can prepare and re rent the unit before we go out of town in the next several weeks.

Make sure you use the term, "and all unknown individuals" when you file an eviction in cook. sometimes, if you do not use that language, and the sheriff goes out for a forcible, they will only throw out the individuals on the complaint and they won't clear out the whole unit unless you use that language.

In my case, the judge took the side of the tenant on all of the money counts, including rent and damages, even though I had before and after pictures, documentation, etc. He granted a small money judgment, but basically decided that he didn't want the amount to be too large, so he just arbitrarily reduced the amount owed based on the tenant's lies. You would think that a judge would decide the case on the strict interpretation of the law, but he didn't.

I was blown away at how partial the judge was, and I wouldn't waste my time with another trial again.

I strongly recommend using attorneys for evictions in Cook. It is well worth the $300 I pay to have an expert handle it.

Originally posted by @Eric S. :
Make sure you use the term, "and all unknown individuals" when you file an eviction in cook. sometimes, if you do not use that language, and the sheriff goes out for a forcible, they will only throw out the individuals on the complaint and they won't clear out the whole unit unless you use that language.

In my case, the judge took the side of the tenant on all of the money counts, including rent and damages, even though I had before and after pictures, documentation, etc. He granted a small money judgment, but basically decided that he didn't want the amount to be too large, so he just arbitrarily reduced the amount owed based on the tenant's lies. You would think that a judge would decide the case on the strict interpretation of the law, but he didn't.

I was blown away at how partial the judge was, and I wouldn't waste my time with another trial again.

I strongly recommend using attorneys for evictions in Cook. It is well worth the $300 I pay to have an expert handle it.

Yes you are right my attorney made sure I put "and all unknown individuals" on each five day notice I served. I have not gone to court and have no plans to in the future. That is what I pay the lawyer for.

It looks like they are finally leaving. I hope they are gone before today is over.

@Jarrett Harris

That's good. I file eviction on the 1st of February and won the case on March 17. I'm still waiting for the sheriff to evict my tenant.

I filed on February 1st, and the tenant lawyer has lost his motion against improper service of sherriff's summons. Trial for owing me rent and possession is on Wednesday. I am doubtful if the tenant is still there but my lawyer says wait for possession.

Anybody offer a suggestion. I believe that the tenant will be evicted soon from the property. But I heard from neighbors that he had kept a big dog. I am worried that he might leave the house with a dog in it. Is anybody aware of a dog squad or some people dog experts I can take into the single family home to remove the dog after eviction> It is probably a pit bull as per neighbors there.

The tenant's attorney accepted a judgement for $5500 and possession for tomorrow. Total money owed was $7300. Eviction took three months. I am happy to get him out with legal fee on both sides. Unpaid rent in February, March, and April.

@Atul Mohlajee

Will you actually take possession of your property tomorrow or do you now have to wait on the sheriff to put the tenant out?

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