Cook County Sheriff’s Eviction Procedure

See this post for an UPDATE (September 2018).  After the stay on an eviction order expires, what happens next?  In Cook County, a prevailing plaintiff landlord with an eviction order is allowed to “place” the eviction order for possession with the Eviction Office of the Cook County Sheriff for civil processing.  Basically, this means that two certified copies and two additional copies of the court order (obtained from the Clerk of the Circuit Court) are brought to the Sheriff’s office, a fee is paid, an “eviction disclosure form” is filled out and filed, and the eviction gets in line with the rest of the evictions waiting to be processed by the Sheriff.  As of January, 2011, the Sheriff’s fee is $60.50.

Some time after the court order is placed with the Sheriff, the Sheriff will mail a “receipt” to the landlord that will contain a district number and receipt number.  The Sheriff evicts based on place in line and geographical status.  At any given time, the Sheriff’s website will usually display the evictions scheduled for the current and next business day.  This information can be found here.  Below is an example from the Cook County Sheriff’s website indicating the evictions scheduled for the next few days.

Example of Cook COunty Sheriff's Website Eviction Schedule

Cook County Sheriff’s eviction schedule

The Sheriff does not use any name or address but instead the district number and receipt number mailed to the landlord by the Sheriff.  In addition, the Sheriff’s office will usually call the landlord one business day in advance of the eviction to notify the landlord of the date and general time for the eviction.

On the day of the eviction, the landlord must be available from 8 a.m. to noon to “greet” the Sheriff.  The Sheriff will usually pull up to the location of the eviction in a marked patrol car.  Usually, the Sheriff’s Deputy will not leave the car.  It is up to the landlord to go out to the car and identify himself or herself as the landlord or landlord’s representative.  The landlord or representative will then identify the entry door to the property and will sign a document authorizing the Sheriff’s Deputy to use force to enter if necessary.  Generally, a landlord either needs to have a key to the premises so that the Sheriff can get in or needs to have a locksmith available to provide access to the premises.

Prior to Sheriff Dart’s tenure, the Sheriff removed personal property from the evicted premises, but that policy is no longer in force.  Instead, the Sheriff’s Deputy will remove the defendants and will post a no-trespass order on the door.  The Deputy will also provide a copy of this letter to the landlord.  As for the personal property of the Tenant, the landlord must provide access to the tenant to remove the property.  At this point, the landlord should change the locks so that the tenant cannot re-gain entry to the property.  If the tenant attempts to re-take possession after eviction, the landlord, presenting a copy of the notice provided by the Deputy, can usually contact the local police who will usually treat the defendant as a trespasser.

This entry was posted in Eviction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

116 Responses to Cook County Sheriff’s Eviction Procedure

  1. Pingback: Cook County Sheriff eviction information receipt letter

  2. Gabriela Moreno says:

    I have tenants that are to be out of my property by the 7th of december by court order given on Nov, 16th of 2011. Since we have contacted the sheriffs for eviction, are these tenants given exactly 3 months which falls within the process of eviction?

  3. Cass says:


    What happens if the sheriff arrives to remove the tenants but they are not home? Or they are removed but refuse to remove their property from the residence? What should the landlord do with their belongings? Can he place them on the curb in Cook County?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      In most cases, the fact that the defendants are not around does not change things. The Sheriff will still execute the order. Landlords should try to give tenants the opportunity to get their things out of the leased property after an eviction and I would not advise a landlord to place property on the curb until at least 24 hours after the eviction and there may be situations where a landlord might still want to hold the tenant’s possessions for longer.

  4. Walter Simmons says:

    What is the power of a stay after the landlord have and order of eviction?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      In an Illinois forcible entry and detainer case, after an order for possession is entered, a judge will commonly “stay” the enforcement of the order for possession. During the stay period, the tenant is able to leave the premises. After the stay expires, the landlord can place the order for possession with the County Sheriff for execution (ie. the Sheriff will then come out and evict the tenant).

  5. Jennifer says:

    I am a renter whos landlord went into forcloser and I faught to stay out my lease and lost the last court case. I recieved a paper from the judge at my last court appearance and its to gain possession forceable entry order. On that copy I recieved from the judge at that time has a district and a six digit number that follows in order to the numbers on the eveiction schedule mine starts with a 7—–. and the website shows 5—–. So my question is … Is this the reciept number i can use to follow and watch for my eviction date??? Please help I am looking for a new home but I need all the time I could get….

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Jennifer, you have a very serious situation on your hands. I don’t know what the paper was that you received, so I cannot say what it was.
      Our firm does not represent tenants in evictions and we do not represent you in this matter. You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney to advise you about the eviction procedure and your rights at once.

      In general, once an order for possession is entered and the stay expires, after the order is placed with the Sheriff for execution, the Sheriff will come out to evict the tenant. There is usually little, if any, advance warning and while it sometimes takes the Sheriff a while to get out there, at any given time, it is impossible to know how soon that will be. (This is not legal advice, but just general information).

  6. mr freedman says:

    I was evicted without being serve or summons I would like to know where would it be saying I was serve or publicize and the manager told me I could only get my stuff during office hours I couldn’t get them during the time he said so he had his staff to remove my things some of my things missing and stuff mess up can I go file a police report and I had put in a motion for a new court date and he still move my stuff

    • Richard Magnone says:

      There are many ways to obtain service of process in an eviction lawsuit (for example, personal jurisdiction from personal service or substitute service or “in rem” jurisdiction from posting service). All of the information about service in an eviction case (ie. the return of service) should be available in the court file. I don’t know all of the facts of your case and we do not represent tenants, so I advise you to act fast to obtain legal counsel to assist you.

  7. Michelle says:

    I have a court order for possesion of my property form 03/19/2012, I filled with Cook County sheriff Dep. they came today and did not evict because he said he has a doughter 18yrs, wich was not listed on the court order. She did not sign the lease nor was listed. She cannot be 18, she is in her senior year of High School. They said I have to refile from the begining. They did not verify the age. I spend to much money allready, he did not pay rent for 8 months, and I might be loosing the house because I felt behind on the mortgage.
    Thank you

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Anyone age 18 or over needs to be identified in an eviction complaint. If a landlord does not know the identity or age of adult or suspected adult occupants, then the landlord can add “unknown occupants” as a defendant party to the complaint (just to be safe). If there is an order with unknown occupants, then the Sheriff will evict.

      There is a procedure, in 735 ILCS 5/9-107.5(b) for unknown occupants not named in the eviction complaint. If the Sheriff finds unknown occupants, the Sheriff will notify the tenants that they have 7 days to file a petition with the court to show that they should have been served. If a petition is filed, there will be a hearing on the petition before the Sheriff will evict.

      Unfortunately, many landlords do not name “unknown occupants” as a party in their case and get stuck paying extra money and spending extra time (as well as foregoing additional rent). This is one good example of why it is smart to have an attorney assist with an eviction case.

  8. candice Hampton says:

    Hello my name is Candice, some property was put in my name and the person had been making payment for the last year. I met with the FBI the best thing of right is to sell it the problem is I have no keys to this property. How do I get keys to this property?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Candice – I don’t understand your question. Do you actually own this property? How is the FBI involved? I get from your message that maybe someone has perpetrated a real estate fraud on you but I can’t really tell. If so, that’s a serious situation and requires a much more detailed exploration of the facts.

      In general, a landlord in Chicago has certain access rights to real estate and there is a procedure that can be employed to get access and keys, but it sounds like you have bigger problems facing you and you would do best to have a consultation with an attorney to address the situation.

  9. suzy says:

    I was given a ten day notice from my landlord’s lawyer for back rent owed. It expires this Monday. Can the landlord change the locks on Monday or does he have to wait until he gets a court order for eviction? It is a business in Chicago.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      There are only two legal ways to obtain possession of a property when a tenant is in possession: 1) enforcement of an eviction order issued by a judge and 2) voluntary turnover of possession by the tenant.

      A landlord who retakes possession and changes locks is engaging in a wrongful eviction.

      Evictions are serious business. Be sure to consult with an attorney who can fully review your situation and provide you with legal advice (this message is not legal advice).

  10. lisa says:

    How many motion can a tenant file for an eviction.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Well, there is no limit in the law. It really depends on the reason and timing of the motion.

  11. lisa says:

    im pregnant and I was suppose to move on the 5th of july how long does it takes the sheriff to come out?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The time it takes the Sheriff to come out varies based on the volume of evictions ongoing overall and in any particular district. There is no way to know for sure.

  12. lisa says:

    Is it to late for me to.file.a motion? Since I was suppose to be out by the 5th of july.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Lisa, evictions are always serious matters with important rights at stake. Unfortunately, we do not defend tenants in eviction cases, so I can’t assist you here. You should, however, contact a tenant’s rights attorney at once to get some answers and to protect any rights you may have.

  13. Dashon says:

    I received a Order Of Possession for delinquent assessments on my condo property. Can my condo association have me convicted from my property?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Condominium associations do have the right under Illinois law to obtain possession of a condo unit when association assessments go unpaid. There is a procedure for this. I don’t know enough about your particular facts to provide you with legal advice.

      • Dashon says:

        Hi. Question, when a “stay” judgement has expired, does the tenant get another court date, or does is it automatically go to an eviction?

        • Richard Magnone says:

          When the “stay” expires, the landlord can take the order to the sheriff to be enforced (this is not automatic – it takes a trip to the sheriff’s office by the landlord). There is usually no further court date.

          • Dashon says:

            Do u know how long it takes for the sheriff to come out for eviction?

          • Richard Magnone says:

            You never know. We can guess based on what is happening with our own files, but there is no way to know how long it will take for any particular district at any time.

          • Shana says:

            I am a unit owner and have rented it out to a tenant who is three months behind on rent. What is the quickest way to evict them from the condo?

          • Richard Magnone says:

            Without seeing your lease or knowing more facts about the situation, I can’t say for certain, but, of the notices available to bring an eviction, a 5 day for nonpayment of rent sounds about right. Your lease or the law of the local municipality (ie. a nonpayment of rent notice in Evanston is a TEN day notice) could possibly modify this. If you are interested in getting some help with the matter, please give us a call and we can see if we are a match for an attorney-client relationship.

  14. kattie banks says:

    i tried to get my tenant evicted but when the sheriff’s came out they told me that my tenant had a daughter age 18 leaving with her. so they couldn’t evict my tenant, my question is will i have to pay another filing fee and start the eviction process all over again from the top?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Usually, there is not a need to start the entire eviction process over. There is a specific process for naming and serving “unknown occupants” in an eviction complaint when unknown adult occupants are found by the Sheriff. After completing that part of the process, the Sheriff can be notified and the eviction can be re-scheduled. Consult your attorney for more on the process.

  15. kattie banks says:

    i have a section 8 recipient living in my property that i purchased from someone. the tenant was suppose to have moved out 30 days after i bought the property, however she did not. i started the eviction process and got possession of my property back from a court order. the sheriff came out to evict the individual and told me that she have her 18 year old daughter living there as well. due to the fact i didnt name any unknown occupants as well as the tenant the sheriff’s could not evict. i wanted to know will i have to restart the eviction process from the very beginning?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      There is a process for naming “unknown occupants” in an eviction complaint and a process when unknown adult occupants are found. After completing that part of the process, the Sheriff can be notified and the eviction can be re-scheduled. Consult your attorney for more on the process.

  16. myra says:

    Hi, I was under the impression that when an eviction process starts, a sheriff shows up at my door with a letter saying somewhere along the lines of “you have 30 days to leave” I just got a letter in the mail from the sheriff saying “final notice” and stating that the sheriffs could show up within 24 hours of the date of the letter. The letter was dated 7/20/12 but I received the letter on 7/27/12. I am waiting to get approval to move into an apt on 8/1/12 so right now I don’t know what to do, is it likely that they will show up tomorrow? Tuesday? Also, I am not being evicted by a landlord, the house was lost due to foreclosure and its the bank evicting me, not sure if that changes anything. Thanks

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The eviction process actually usually ends when the sheriff shows up to make a tenant vacate! Part of the process is that after a landlord places an order for possession with the sheriff for enforcement, the sheriff, at least in Cook County, sends out a postcard alerting the tenant that the sheriff will be out to evict soon. There is no way for a tenant to find out the actual date, but it usually means the sheriff will be out “soon”.

      I don’t have all of your facts, so I can’t speak to the specifics of your case or provide legal advice.

      • Karri B says:

        How long after the ‘Final Notice’ letter does the sheriff’s office send out the postcard?
        Can you call the sheriff’s office to find out the date ?

  17. mark says:

    I revived a paper in the mail to show up in court I was never served these papers do I need to show in court or do i wait till I’m served by a pro server. The sheriff put on the court paper unable to find.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      I haven’t seen the paperwork you received. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to get some competent advice from an attorney so you can protect your rights. I don’t know if you have to show up or not. It is possible, however, that you might have been served via a Sheriff’s “posting” notice which would give the court jurisdiction over the case. As such, get yourself to a tenant’s attorney to see if you need to appear or defend yourself. Don’t wait!

      • mark says:

        Affidavit for service by posting then it has my name and landlords name then box is checked cannot be found after diligent inquiry.

  18. mark says:

    If I was served papers to go to court about a pending eviction by mail and not by the sheriff or a pro server do I have to show in court or do i wait for someone to serve me

  19. Jeanette says:

    The house that I currently reside in was foreclosed. The bank gave me a 90 day notice. But now i also received an eviction notice from the previous owner of the house who lost it in foreclosure 7 months ago. What shoould i do. I know he has no right to evict me since he is no longer the owner.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Only the party that owns the property can serve a valid notice. It is possible that the old owner does not know that the foreclosure is complete. It is also possible that the foreclosure is actually not complete. You need to determine the legal owner of the property to determine how to go forward. The best way to do that would be to engage a tenants rights attorney.

  20. Tom says:

    Hello. I have a judgement for a non paying tenant to turn over property on July 16. I have not been able to get in touch with her at all. Her car has been parked in my driveway with flat tires for months now.

    Yesterday, I sent a sub contractor over to my property to board up the house and post no trespassing signs on all the doors. The lady, after assuming she was gone, had the fire dept contact me, that she needed to get in to get her items and her dog. No dog was in the house for the record. I allowed her to enter with police present. She entered the house and refused to vacate!! She said to get the Sheriff to get her out.

    What can I do now? The Sheriff is a 10-12 weeks wait. She’s already been there for 4 months without paying. Also, I need to get her car out of my driveway. The police said they can not tow her car. I’m at a stand still. Please help!!

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Tom, I don’t know all of the facts of your situation and our firm has a policy against taking on a case “midway” through the process (ie. after the court action has been filed), so I can’t provide you with any legal advice.

      In general, the only way to get possession of property back after getting a court order is for the tenant to turn over possession or for the County Sheriff to enforce the judge’s court order. When there are factual indications that a tenant is holding possession (ie. neighbors have seen the tenant, no contact from the tenant, tenants possessions can be seen through the windows, tenant’s car is around), a landlord should error on the side of caution and let the Sheriff do his job. Landlords who engage in self-help and retake possession when a tenant has not turned over possession can be vulnerable to a wrongful eviction lawsuit – something to avoid.

      When the local police will not remove an occupant as a trespasser, the only reasonable option is to get a court order and have the Sheriff enforce the eviction.

  21. Mike says:

    I signed a commercial lease with a woman who had her grandson move in with his wife and baby into an office space. We don’t know the name of the woman but the 5 day included “unknown occupants”. They haven’t paid their rent and we already handed the grandson a 5 day notice on the 7th. Is the eviction process different since it is a commercial lease? Do I still have to get the sheriff after the court orders an eviction?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Illinois law makes no real distinction in the process for a commercial or a residential eviction. In reality, they are a bit different in that a commercial lease is, in many cases, not construed against the landlord as harshly as a residential lease. Many residential lease provisions can be seen as “adhesion” contracts or as “unconscionable” because of the disparity in power between landlord and tenant (ie. not many tenants have the power to negotiate the terms of the lease with the landlord).

      As for the enforcement of an order for possession: YES, the Sheriff must enforce the order. Landlords are NEVER allowed to engage in “self help” methods of eviction.

      As for your specific situation, I am a bit confused by your facts (an unknown woman who signed the lease? multiple 5 day notices possibly given to people not named in the lease?), I can’t really provide any thoughts of value on that.

  22. Amanda says:

    How is a tenant ‘served’ with a service by posting in cook county? How do the court verify service with a posting?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The Sheriff usually posts and mails the notice to the tenant and then files a “return of service” with the court to indicate the posting was made.

  23. Dale says:


    • Richard Magnone says:

      This is a common tenant “tactic”. You do have to enforce the order. Any time a motion is filed and there is not a resolution, the Sheriff will put your eviction on hold. Sometimes I ask the judge if he/she will entertain sanctions when a tenant is abusing the process.

  24. Benjamin Wright says:

    Hello, I was granted possesion of my unit, no one there, sheriff placed notice on door, and now there is a bunch of stuff left, some trash, some obvious good. Not clear of timeline and what to do with it prior to donating the stuff. Do I have to send them a letter to last known add?(No C.O.A.) Store it and Charge them? For how long? Due to Activity in the unit, I strongly feel they won’t return.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The rule of thumb is for tenants to remove their property within 24 hours. After that, a landlord can move the property to the curb. Certainly, a landlord does not want to be exposed to a claim that they stole property from a tenant or that the tenant had property that was of such value that a bailment was created, so landlords need to act carefully and consult with their attorney on the facts specific to their situation.

  25. Flourish says:

    We were going to be late to pay our August/September rent which is due on the 15th of August, with 5days of grace. We notified our landlord, with a promise to pay by month’s end. She sent us a certified “strict compliance letter” that we pay her with late charges as stated on the lease. As month’s end drew nearer, we realized we may not be able to make that payment, while still being on time with the next one on September 16. So we sought help with an agency that approved our case with the “strict compliance letter” from the landlord. Only problem was they still needed a 5-day notice. We requested one from landlord and it a big hassle to get one from her. After eventually issuing the notice, she then refused to sign the 1099 form from the agency. She wanted the agency to pay her what we owed plus the following month’s rent. She asked to wait for the next 5 day notice she will be issuing. The problem is the agency could only help us with the month we owed, which was all we asked for. We knew we were going to be able to make the following month’s rent. Landlord dragged the case until the next rent was due; which we paid through bill payment with our bank. But strangely, she didn’t cash it, but waited till the 22nd of September and sent us another 5days notice. She claimed she got the check on the 25th and she is not going to take it because we didn’t meet the terms of the lease. She wanted to know if to mail the check back to the bank or to us. This was on the 26th of September. The bank told us it was sent out the 18th and she acknowledged it was postmarked the 19th. We’ve tried all we could to work with her but she wont speak with us or respond to multiple emails when asked what she wanted us to do. When we didn’t hear from her, we told her on the 28th to mail the check to us. Still no response. Then on the 29th, she sent a “what to do” email, saying to contact her attorney with concerns and questions. We’ve learned it’s landlord’s right to accept or reject payment from the agency, and it does seem this is heading for eviction proceedings.

    What would be the best next-steps for us? And do we have to contact the attorney or wait to hear from them? Are you able to help?

    Thank you for all that you do.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      It is always unfortunate when a landlord and tenant cannot work out an agreement. That said, the loss of possession in an eviction is a serious matter. You need to contact and consult with an attorney who handles tenant-related matters at once to protect your rights.

  26. Kelly says:


    • Richard Magnone says:

      In Cook County, a landlord needs to name all known adults on an eviction order. If the landlord does not know the names of all adults occupying the rental premises, the landlord can name “unknown occupants” on a complaint. The Sheriff can serve by substitute abode service any unknown occupants and this will allow a plaintiff in an eviction case to obtain an order for possession against “unknown occupants” which will cover those people that are not known. Then, if the sheriff goes out to evict, the officer will evict the named parties and all unknown occupants.

      If a landlord evicts while knowing that the landlord does not have an order against the occupant, the landlord subject to a claim of wrongful eviction. If the unnamed occupant is present when the sheriff comes to evict, the Sheriff will call off the eviction and go through the unknown occupant procedure with the circuit court.

      I don’t have all of your facts and have not obtained enough information to give you a full answer that is legal advice. Inasmuch as we do not have an attorney client relationship, the above is general in nature and cannot be relied upon.

  27. Alma says:

    I was evicted on Tuesday, October 9th at approximately 9:00 am. Most of my items were removed from the property. The home is now bank owned. I tried to contact the realtor, who is the bank representative, and set up a date to retrieve the rest of my personal property. I called four times that same day and left voice mails. Two voice mails were to his office and two to his cell phone. The next day I call again and left another voice mail. He called me back 30 minutes later to tell me that the house had been cleaned. I asked him to explain cleaned. He told me that all remaining items in the home had been thrown away. There were a lot of personal possessions still in the home. He said there was nothing he could do and that he didn’t receive any of my messages. I have a list of items that were thrown away. He also said that I did not have any rights to those items so it is pointless to discuss and not his problem. He also said I do not have rights to my washer, dryer and refrigerator. The refrigerator isn’t mine. Please help with some information regarding personal property and eviction.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Alma, as you might know from reading our blog, we don’t represent tenants in eviction cases. However, we do take tenant’s rights seriously and the possession of your property or damage and destruction to your possessions are serious matters. You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney IMMEDIATELY to learn about and protect your rights.

  28. Alma says:

    I apologize about the multiple posts. Not sure what happened. 🙂

  29. Nena says:

    I am a property owner in Cook County and I am in the process of evicting a tenant. I have already served the 5 day notice for non payment of rent including late fees. Those 5 days have passed and I went to pick up the paperwork required to begin the eviction process on 10/19/12. My question is, will the fact that it is now mid October be a factor in how long the judge gives the tenant to move out of the unit? I am asking because of cold weather being on the way. My tenant is a single mother with 3 children. Also, will the fact that I also reside in the building change anything of the eviction process? If the tenant somehow comes up with all of the money owed to me AFTER judgment is ruled in my favor, is the eviction then void?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Thanks for your question. Winter evictions are interesting. The Sheriff has a policy for not going out to evict when it is too cold or when conditions outside are bad. In addition, the court will not allow evictions to be enforced around Christmas and New Year. Last year, the moratorium was from December 19, 2011 to January 2, 2012. That does not mean that the court system is not working on evictions, just that they might take longer to enforce.

      The fact that you live in the building will not impact the basic eviction case. It could impact the tenant’s defenses or counter-claims (because you may be exempt from the CRLTO).

      As for the payment of rent after a five day notice is expired, in most cases, you cannot be forced to accept rent rather than proceeding with an eviction.

      Additionally, I am a bit worried about the fact that you included late fees in your notice. I haven’t seen your lease or notice and I’m not engaged to represent you, so I can’t provide you with legal advice upon which you can rely, but you need to make sure your notice is proper before you proceed and should explore your other questions with a legal representative who can learn more about your facts to make sure that you are advancing your position correctly. Best of luck.

  30. Nena says:

    Sorry, one more question. How long do I give the tenant to remove all of her things from the unit after eviction before I can discard them? Or is discarding them illegal?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The short answer is 24 hours, but it is much more complex than that. It is certainly best to work with the tenant to let them get their things. I am planning a blog post on this topic that I will publish in the next few weeks.

      • Nena says:

        Thank you so much for your response. However, my situation has changed a little. Fourteen days ago, I spoke with an attorney who really gave me some good advice. He advised that I serve my tenant with a 10 day notice to move from the unit for violating her lease in more ways than just unpaid rent. He stated this would be better than the 5 day notice to pay rent because she couldnt just come up with the money she owes and be able to stay in the unit. In the case of the 10 day, she HAS to move. So, she was served the 10 day notice on the 24th; today is the 13th day. I filed the paperwork at the courthouse this morning. My question is, is there anything that the tenant can do to keep from being evicted at this point? Because it is to my understanding that the only thing she can really do is move from the premises or ask for a continuance in court to delay the process. I am also a little worried about the grounds on which i chose to evict. Regardless though, she has still breached her contract. Are there reasons too small to evict? Even though those reasons are violations of the lease? Prior to filing, I was willing to find ANY violation on her part to write in the complaint form. At this point, my piece of mind is more important, even if the violations are miniscule.

        • Richard Magnone says:

          Nena, I don’t have the facts that the attorney you spoke with has. My best suggestion is to contact that attorney for help.

  31. John says:

    I had a tenant who was evicted last week. They claimed they were in the process of moving and a moving company with a truck arrived at about the same time sheriff was leaving. The sheriff posted the eviction on the front door. I gave tenant 2 hours to move their possession. After the truck was full, there was still some belongings that needed to moved. I agreed with the tenant that they will move the remaining things over the weekend. Its Sunday and they have not made any effort to pickup their belongings and I do not have their forwarding address. I need to get the placed cleaned up to get it ready for renting. What options do I have? Can I legally dispose whatever is left or have a good will or salvation army come pick it up. I was told once an eviction has taken place in cook county, the material possession left behind by the tenant is no longer his/her property. Is there anything a landlord should do to shield themselves in case the tenant files paper work stating that landlord refuses to give them possessions of personal belongings after eviction has taken place.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      John, you don’t lose property rights because of an eviction. You do lose the right to have your property stored in the landlord’s real estate. The rule of thumb is for tenants to remove their property within 24 hours. After that, a landlord can move the property to the curb. A landlord should probably not be calling goodwill or the salvation army to take the stuff away. Certainly, a landlord does not want to be exposed to a claim that they stole property from a tenant or that the tenant had property that was of such value that a bailment was created, so landlords need to act carefully and consult with their attorney on the facts specific to their situation.

  32. Pingback: Eviction procedure after an order for possession

  33. lawrence says:

    I received a final notice in my mailbox and it said it was from the cook county sheriffs office but there wasnt any district number or any phone numbers from the sheriffs office as well so does this mean the letter really came from the cook county office the letter was also dated 12/17/2012 and i received it on 12/22/2012 and i was home the whole day every day and no one ever knocked on my door once

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Lawrence, I don’t know if you are the landlord or the tenant. The letter the Sheriff’s office sends to a tenant does not contain any district number or sheriff’s number on it. As for what happened or why, I don’t know enough facts to give you an answer. If you are a landlord having questions, feel free to give us a call to see if we are a match for an engagement to help. If you are a tenant, I advise you to contact a tenant’s rights attorney for help.

  34. karen says:

    I have a family member that I never charged rent told them they could stay in my place for awhile until they got on there feet they have 2 kids and I asked him to move 4 months ago and they wont how do I remove them from my property.

  35. Megan says:

    I have a guy that parks a vehicle on my property. We have no written lease, but he paid on a monthly basis with check. Since he does not live on the property, do I need to follow the regular eviction process, same as for homes/apts? If I serve a 5 day notice for non-payment and he does not pay, can I tow his vehicles.
    Thank you.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      A parking space eviction is handled in the same way as a commercial eviction. You would serve a 5 day notice for nonpayment of rent. If he does not pay, you would have a right to file an eviction action against him to recover the parking space.

  36. Toni says:

    I am a tenant, I was told by my landlord that we have a court appointment for eviction coming up soon! I was not serviced by a sheriff or paper was not left on my door. Would I still have to show up at court and can I still get evicted.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Toni, it is possible, depending on the method of service in the case or what the landlord might say that an order for possession could be entered against you. Do you have to appear? I don’t know about the facts of your case, so my VERY BEST ADVICE is to contact an attorney who represents tenants. Possession rights could be at stake and you don’t want to do nothing and get a bad result. You may not need to appear, but you need to go over your case with someone who can give you some good thoughts on it. Consult a tenant’s rights attorney as soon as you can!

  37. Queenb says:

    I am currently going to court for an eviction. My landlord locked me out from the back to the front of my app. I have paid hiim most of what was past due. I called the police and ,was given a police report. My 9 yr old son had to climb thru a window to let my family in. It is cold outside and it took the police 50 minutes to respond. The police said i could change the locks, im worried this is illegal. Is it leagal to lock me out when no order has been placed with the sheriff dept. I know you dont deal with these cases but i have small kids and its COLD.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney right away to assist you. A landlord lockout is serious and you may have many rights you want to explore. We never condone landlords engaging in “self-help” or a lockout of any kind. Although we don’t represent tenants in those cases, I highly recommend you contact someone who does to help you. Good luck.

  38. Jocelyn Jimenez says:

    my sister was recently evicted and now her belongings are in the residence in which she was evicted. I read on the Cook County Sherrif’s website the landlord has to give the tenant access to their belongings. Is that true? If so, how long do they typically have?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The landlord is supposed to give the tenant an opportunity to remove property. You should consult with a tenant’s rights attorney as to any rights she might have!

  39. Angela says:

    Mr. Magnone,

    I live in a 6 unit condominium and we have two owners who are in foreclosure and have not paid their assessments in over a year( since 2011) and they are still living here. Could you tell me how long it takes to put a lien on their property in Cook County? My husband claims it will take 6 months to a year to get them out. Thanks in advance :).

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Angela, a condominium board of directors does have a right to bring an eviction action against delinquent unit owners for back assessments. The process can take some time, however, the association can sometimes leverage their rights and get paid much needed association dues by renting out the property after taking possession. The condominium board should definitely consult with an attorney as the rules and requirements for a condominium eviction are different than a tenant eviction.

  40. mercedes says:

    my landlord took me to court for order of possession and won but after court I stayed because owner/myself can to an agreement. That was back in Oct. I was to leave 10/24/12. Now the owner is taking my back to court again. I have found an attorney and this is a seperate order of possession which i will be going to trial . Can the owner still evict from the last court order they won.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Mercedes, inasmuch as I don’t know any of the facts of the last or current case, and since you have retained counsel to assist you, my best suggestion is that you consult with your attorney on this one.

  41. NENA says:

    Hello, I have a few concerns. My tenant and I have received an order of possession and she was supposed to be out of my property this past Monday 01/14/13. Of course, she was not out AND I just found out that that same day, she filed and emergency motion to ask for more time; the court date is 01/28/13. I already paid the $60.50 at the Sheriff’s office on Tuesday 01/15/13 to have her physically evicted. And, I understand that if they happen to come before our court date they will put the eviction on hold. But my question is, when is the judge’s order ever final?? If my tenant can file motions whenever she wants to, when will this case ever end? By the court’s order, when does “get out” ever REALLY mean “get out”? Also, if the Sheriff does come out before our court date, will I have to pay another $60.50 for the Sheriff to come out again afterwards?

  42. worried one says:

    as a tenant how would i know what district i’m in. so i know what day the sheriffs are working on. and when can i file a motion to stay for more time? me and my family wants to leave badley but the truth is we are having a difficult time finding a place to stay.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You can find out your district number based upon where you live. Tenants do not have access to the “sheriff’s number”, so they never know exactly when the Sheriff is coming out. Tenants do have certain rights after the entry of an eviction order, but you will need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney for information and advice on those.

  43. Jon says:

    I filed my summons and complaint, naming X, Y, and Unknown Occupants as defendants, and placed the summons/complaint for service by the Sheriff. The Case Information Summary for my case says X was served by personal service, Y was served by substitute service, and Unknown Occupants were not served, reason: moved. Did the Sheriff’s deputy just mess up their paperwork? How would the Sheriff’s deputy know whenther unknown occupants moved or not? Shouldn’t he or she simply have left the summons/complaint for Unknown Occupants with X and called it substitute service? How do I fix this?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      That is a strange result and your supposition is correct – the Sheriff should have served “unknown occupants” by substitute service leaving the paperwork with whoever was served. It is possible that the Sheriff’s Return was prepared improperly by the Sheriff or input into the system improperly by the Clerk of the Court. You have to do some digging. If, in fact, unknowns were not served, you need to find service by an alternate method such as having an alias summons issue and be served again by the sheriff or having a special process server appointed to serve it. I don’t know the specifics of your situation and we don’t have an attorney-client relationship, so this does not constitute legal advice.

  44. william says:


  45. Jessie says:

    Hi. I just found out that the person I’m renting a room from in their apartment just went to eviction court and I was listed as “unknown occupant.” He said he was moving out October 1st so I’m moving into my new place on September 15th. Turns out, he’s supposed to be out tonight, September 8th. Does that mean I’m coming home from class tomorrow and possibly being locked out. I have nowhere to go until the 15th!! Help me out, please. Thank you!!

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney who can advise you on this situation at once. The focus of this website is landlords who need eviction representation, so I can’t assist with this.

  46. Peter says:

    Hello Mr. Magnone,

    I prevailed in court (pro-se) and was granted an Order for Possession in mid-Nov.
    I filed and paid the Sheriff to forcibly evict the tenant, the tenant filed a 29x petition, late Nov. I was not notified, I didn’t appear in court and am wondering if the tenant was successful. I received a post card from the court today “DISMISSED FOR WANT OF PROSECUTION”

    VACATE JUDGMENT/DISMISSAL – ALLOWED 12/5. Participant: landlord
    DISMISSED FOR WANT OF PROSECUTION 12/19. Participant: tenant

    Thank you!

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Peter, from your information provided, it looks like you have, unfortunately, become a victim of “the system”. Dismissed for Want of Prosecution means that the case was dismissed because no one showed up on the Plaintiff’s side. (Of course, how could you show up if you didn’t know!) There are times tenants file motions and don’t give notice as they are supposed to. You will probably be able to eventually work all of this out, but it will take some time. As I don’t know anything about your case, have not seen any of the papers filed, and have only limited information, I can’t give any real legal advice on this. There are time periods for vacating orders that could expire or make your situation more difficult, so you should PROMPTLY consult with an attorney for assistance. Please remember, we do not jump into cases “in the middle”, so we would not be able to assist.

  47. J*** ***k says:

    My wife wasn’t paying our assessments in our condo for years, unbeknownst to me. They took us to court and we settled on an agreement for a 6 month payment plan. Fine. She has made every payment on time as per the agreement. They still filed for eviction even though we have a contract for 6 month payment plan and we are in the 3rd month. When my wife contacted the property management company they said it was because our account with THEIR lawyers wasn’t current. We have been making our payments to the association as per our agreement. How do I stop this fraudulent eviction from happening? And how can I file a complaint against the property management company for gross negligence?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      We don’t handle eviction defense. As you already know, eviction is one of the remedies available to a condominium association for unpaid dues. If you had a settlement agreement entered in the original suit, you need to take a look at it with the help of an attorney. Losing possession is certainly not a joke and my best advice is for you to consult with and hire an attorney to assist you with a defense and to advise you of your various rights as soon as possible.

  48. CM says:

    I am in the process of trying to evict a tenant. I’m acting pro se. The Sheriff’s office came out to evict on 12/10/13, but did not, because there were unknown occupants living in the apartment. They were given 7 days to appear in court for a stay, but did not. What’s the next step in evicting them, and approximately how long should it take?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      This is one of those situations that doesn’t come up all too often. Landlords who take on an eviction “pro se” probably don’t see these situations very often, but one of the perils of proceeding pro se is that a situation can deviate from the norm. The forcible statute provides for the unknown occupants procedure. I’m sure you can find it there. Since we don’t jump into the middle of cases already filed or assist pro se litigants, I can’t provide any additional assistance.

  49. STephanie says:

    We were renters and the owners weren’t paying their Homeowner ASsociation Dues. So, we were evicted. Very terrible situation. At the time the Association refused to give us the washer and dryer that we paid for and that was not being attached to the real estate sale as the property was also up for a short sale. The day of the eviciton they said if we could give them a written letter from the owners stating the appliances were ours, they would release them to us later. Since then , they have refused to let us obtain our belongings even with owner consent. all we want is our washer and dryer. They also held back our ladder, dust buster, curtains and so on even though they told us everything of personal nature was taken out. Anyways, how do we get them to release our property to us. They keep telling us to contact the owners attorney. We do not have contact with the owners. The owners were nice enough to authorize a written document stating the washer and dryer was ours. Please help.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Stephanie, this is not the kind of case we can help with. There are many excellent tenant’s rights attorneys in the city and you would do better to contact one of them to protect your rights.

  50. yohighnis says:

    If a landlord has paid the sheriffs office to come out and enforce an eviction, will the tenant receive a notice in the mail?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      In Cook County, normally they will, but that can’t be guaranteed.

    • Peter says:

      As a landlord speaking, I receive a letter, I think the tenant received the same letter…but the sheriff will post a bright green sticker on the door notifing the tenant and all who live there, if there are still there, they are considered trespassing. I strongly suggest you be moved out before the sheriff arrives. Because you are in defiance of a court order to vacate.

  51. Toni says:

    We purchased a 2-unit home that was in the process of having a tenant evicted. After delaying closing 3 times we had closed or the seller wanted to walk away from the sale. A few days after we closed the Sheriff arrived but did not evict because the unit number was not indicated on the documentation even though there was no one occupying the first unit. Is this a legitimate reason to postpone the eviction and will we have to start the process all over again now?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      I have not seen your paperwork, so I can’t provide a specific bit of advice. I will say that eviction is a summary procedure and tiny deviations, misstatements, or mistakes can derail the process.

  52. David Bush says:

    Dear Sir
    I have a very different court case as follows.
    I follow the instruction on this forum and did:
    1. issued a five days notice(notarized);
    2. went to court
    3. The judge agrees to give me an order of possession in 2 weeks(14 days)
    then in 14th day I called my tenant to collect my keys,
    he said he cannot move out and filed an emergency motion because he has 3 small kids in elementary schools so he needs more time to find apartment;
    actually he is lying because he did not pay for 8 months already and wants to delay eviction process and gets more free staying here;
    in the court he is lying also before Judge that he had paid me last Dec rental fee but actually not

    my question is:

    [1]. when is the judge’s order ever final??
    [2]. If my tenant can file motions whenever he wants to, when will this case ever end?
    [3]. By the court’s order, when does he get out ever REALLY mean get out?
    [4]. Also, if the Sheriff does come out before our court date, will I have to pay another $60.50 for the Sheriff to come out again afterwards?
    [5]. Do I need to be present to the court date of my tenant’s emergency motion??
    should I look at his emergency motion file to decide to go to court or not??

    I hope to take eviction order to Sheriff’s office Next Monday but i read the posts here it looks like my request to ask Sheriff’s office to
    take forceful eviction will be on-hold because of my tenant’s filing of emergency motion;

    Please help advice what is best way to handle this case??
    How can I successfully evict him ASAP???

    Thanks s o much and good weekends


    • Richard Magnone says:

      David, that is a complex set of questions that really go beyond the basic subjects we discuss on this blog. You need specific legal advice. You should consider consulting with an attorney to provide specific legal advice on your issues.

  53. David Bush says:

    Dear Richard :

    you said the tenant file an emergency Motion is a common tenant “tactic”:
    “Richard Magnone says:
    September 22, 2012 at 5:20 am
    This is a common tenant “tactic”. You do have to enforce the order. Any time a motion is filed and there is not a resolution, the Sheriff will put your eviction on hold. Sometimes I ask the judge if he/she will entertain sanctions when a tenant is abusing the process.

    Please help advice
    when and where I can ask the judge if he/she will entertain sanctions when a tenant is abusing the process ???
    do I need to file another court case to make new eviction???

    Thanks so much and good weekends