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.
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Prior to Sheriff Dart’s tenure, the Sheriff removed personal property from the evicted premises, but that policy is no longer in force.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.