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KANE COUNTY EVICTIONS 101: THE DIFFICULT PROCESS TO OBTAIN AN EVICTION ORDER IN KANE COUNTY

Posted on in Residential Landlord Evictions

 Kane County Eviction Attorneys

To ensure a landlord is filing an eviction case in the right county, the rule is that the case must be filed in the county in which the rental property is located. Unfortunately, some landlords are left having to file their case in Kane County, and they are met with a harder time obtaining an eviction order than landlords filing in neighboring counties. This is because Kane County is considered “pro-tenant” which means that the court gives multiple chances to the tenant and would rather the parties come to an agreement on their own accord than have to issue an eviction order against the tenant. The process is longer, more tedious, and overall very confusing, especially for landlords that choose to represent themselves in court, otherwise known as pro se.

The initial process is the same as any other county, meaning that the landlord must serve the tenant the requisite notice, whether that be a five-day, ten-day, or thirty-day notice. The landlord must then wait the appropriate amount of time to ensure the tenant had time to attempt to comply with the eviction notice. If the tenant does not abide by the notice, the landlord can then begin filing their case in Kane County, which is where the real struggle begins.

Complaint and Summons

To initiate the court case against the tenant, the landlord must file a Complaint and Summons with the court. The complaint sets forth the factual allegations as to why the landlord is entitled to possession of the property and/or money damages, if applicable. In conjunction with a complaint, the landlord must also file a Summons form. This form is what calls the tenant to court by listing the court date and time so the tenant is on notice that there is a pending action against them.

 Unlike other counties, Kane County requires additional forms that must be attached to the Summons in order to properly serve the tenants. These forms include a rental assistance form that has since been required pursuant to Covid-19, and a mediation form. Kane County requires a mediation attempt to be made before an eviction order can be entered. The Complaint and Summons, including the rental assistance form and mediation form, must be sent to an independent third party, specifically a private process server, to serve the forms onto the tenant and ensure the court has jurisdiction to enter an order against them.

First Court Date

A few things will take place at the first court date. If the landlord is pro se, they must appear for court, either in-person or via Zoom. However, if the landlord is represented by an attorney, then they do not have to be present, as their attorney will appear on their behalf. The tenant must also appear. 

If the tenants are present for the court date, the Judge will enter a court date far enough out to give the tenants 28 days to file an Answer to the Complaint, as well as an appearance. An Answer goes through each paragraph of the Complaint and the tenant will either admit or deny the allegations. Also, an appearance will indicate whether the tenant has retained an attorney to represent them, or whether the tenant will be representing themselves pro se.

 In addition, the Judge will review the documents served onto the tenants to ensure the appropriate forms were attached to the Summons, namely the rental assistance form and the mediation form. If the forms were not properly attached and served, then the Judge will require the landlord to send out the documents via certified mail prior to the next court date. Finally, the Judge will refer the case to mediation. A mediation attempt will be required to be completed before the next court date, which is typically 30-35 days after the initial court date. 

On the other hand, there is the possibility that the tenant may not show up to the initial court date. In other counties, the Judge would consider failure to appear as a form of default, and would enter an eviction order that day, so long as the tenant was properly served. Unfortunately, Kane County is very forgiving to tenants. The Judge will allow the landlord to file a seven-day order. A seven-day order means that the tenant has seven days to come into compliance with the terms of the order and, if they fail to do so, an order will be entered against them on the tenth day. If the tenant does come into compliance, then the case will continue.

Mediation

Before the case can move forward, both parties are required to attend mediation. Mediation is when both parties are present with a neutral third-party mediator to monitor and facilitate discussion in an attempt to reach a settlement outside of court proceedings. The goal of mediation is to come to an agreement where both parties are happy, while also trying to not overflow the courts with evictions that can be settled. 

To begin mediation, the tenant is required to contact the mediator at the number provided by the Judge. Once the tenant and mediator decide on a proposed mediation date, the mediator will contact the landlord or their attorney and finalize the date and time. Both parties will then complete an initial intake form prior to mediation.

Attendance by both parties is mandatory and noted to the court. Even if a party if represented by an attorney, the landlord and tenant themselves must appear. If either party does not appear, their non-attendance will be noted to the court and can be used against them by the Judge. Once the mediation attempt concludes, the mediator will complete an order stating that mediation occurred and whether or not a settlement agreement was reached.



Legal Representation is Crucial

Kane County is a difficult county to navigate an eviction case is due to the pro-tenant procedures. Most landlords that represent themselves pro se are unaware of the rules and procedures that Kane County requires, which only extends the time the case is in court. Kane County is the most difficult county for a landlord to represent themselves because the procedure is vastly different from other counties. There is not a requirement that the tenant have 28 days to file an answer, a seven-day order is not required if the tenants are in default, and mediation is not required for every case. The Kane County eviction process has many moving parts that must fit perfectly in order for an eviction case to come to a timely conclusion. 

 

To ensure timeliness in Kane County, it is strongly recommended that landlords seek an experienced attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of Kane County. At Landlord Evictions, LLC, our team of experienced attorneys and staff are ready and capable of representing landlords in obtaining an eviction order in a timely manner, while following all necessary rules and procedures required of Kane County. We make sure to advocate for the outcome you want and work tirelessly to make it possible. For more information, call our office at 630-780-1034 or fill out an online form.

 

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