If there is a written lease, some leases require notice of default to you and opportunity to cure the default before the landlord can begin eviction (called dispossessory) proceedings. Once that period of time has expired or if there is no such provision in your lease, the landlord must give you a demand for possession of the property. This is usually done in writing by letter from the landlord. Then landlord can then immediately file a petition for dispossessory proceedings. This is usually in Magistrate Court. The Rockdale County Marshal will serve this on you or tack it to your door. You then have 7 days to file an answer. If you do not file an answer, the landlord will obtain a dispossessory order from the Court by default and can then evict you. If you do file an answer, the case will be scheduled for trial, usually within 7-10 days. If service is by tacking the dispossessory petition to your door instead of personal service, a drawback to filing an answer is that the landlord can then obtain a monetary judgment against you for unpaid rent and other damages. If you file an answer and lose the trial, the landlord will obtain a court order and can evict you, and may also have a monetary judgment against you for unpaid rent and other damages. Most judges at the trial will give you a couple days to move out before the eviction order takes effect, but this is not required.
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