In my previous post, we discussed the beginning steps of the eviction process in Colorado and, hopefully, gave you an idea as to either how to get started or what to expect if you'r expecting an eviction against you. I also, hopefully, conveyed the importance of seeking an effective eviction lawyer regardless of what side of the coin you're in on this process.
In this post we will discuss the eviction Complaint. Once your notice period has passed, its time to file a Complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer ("FED"). The FED Complaint is filed in the County Court where the property is located. Claims for money damages may, but are not required to be, included in the FED Complaint. The FED process in the Courts is an expedited process because property is involved. This means that the Court process is handled quicker than the process for seeking civil money damages.
The FED Complaint contains the basis for evicting the tenant. This means that, generally, attached to the Complaint will be the Lease Agreement (or whatever agreement there is between the tenant and landlord) as well as a copy of the demand to vacate. The Complaint is filed with the Court along with a Summons, stating the date of the Return Hearing. Return Hearings are held on regular dates and times by each Court. It's important to know the particular dates and times that your county's court holds their civil return hearings.
Here's where it gets a little complicated. The Return Hearing for the Complaint must be set between 7 and 14 days from the date the Complaint and Summons are filed. On top of this, the tenant must be served no less than 7 days before the Return Hearing. Once the Complaint and Summons are completed, you must file with the County Court, pay the filing fee, and mail a copy of Complaint and Summons to
Once the Summons and Complaint are filed, it's time to get the tenant served. Service must be accomplished by a non-party person over the age of eighteen. Usually this means that either the county Sheriff or a private process server will be hired to accomplish the service. Unlike lawsuits where money damages are sought, an FED Complaint does not require personal service. If the process server makes diligent effort to make personal service and is unable to locate the tenant, service can be accomplished by posting the Complaint at the property "in a conspicuous place". Note, however, that if money damages are being sought along with the eviction, personal service must be accomplished.
Once the tenant has been served, it's time to get ready for the eviction hearings, which we will discuss in the next post.
Call The Arriola Law Firm at (303) 840-2539 today to discuss your eviction issue with an experienced Colorado eviction attorney.
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Erick S. Arriola is the Founder of The Arriola Law Firm. He has been a practicing litigator in Colorado for over eight years with a primary focus in business and commercial litigation.
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Englewood, Colorado 80112
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