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Next step in eviction process after "WRIT OF RESTITUTION RETURNED SHOWING EXPIRED." That was in August; it's 3+ mos later

Delaware, OH |

Evicted last summer; no shot at winning as being unemployed at that time isn't a defense to being evicted. Since this was a default judgement, does that mean no separate hearing on monetary damages? My concern is the paperwork filed w/the court indicates I'm also being hit with his attorney fees and I didn't think those were reimbursable as part of the monetary damages. Reason I ask is if they aren't recoverable in an eviction, could I have the damages thrown out entirely? I know that wouldn't preclude him from re-filing for damages w/o atty fees but I'm curious as to whether he would bother or not.

I've "Googling" this and found a number of sites that say a LL isn't entitled to atty fees related to an eviction for non-payment of rent in Ohio. But if it's a default judgement, can he get them since he asked? I'm just looking for a technicality to get the monetary damages thrown out. Whether he re-files or not doesn't mean much other than I'm curious as to how much he's looking to hassle me further. (I use the term "hassle" because I was willing to work out a payment plan to try to get caught up on the rent since I found a new job around the time he filed for the eviction in the first place.) For what it's worth, the property was rented out about a month after I left so it's not like it's been sitting vacant for 1/4 of a calendar year.

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Attorney answers 1


Check your lease agreement for what it says about attorney fees. It is NOT unusual(in fact its entirely normal) to collect attorney fees with default judgment. No separate hearing required. It almost NEVER pays off to skip a hearing where you are the defendant.

Whether the LL would bother or not is something you'd have to ask the LL.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.



I didn't skip the hearing because I thought it would benefit me; the only thing skipping a hearing did was change the result from a judgement for the landlord to a default judgement for the landlord. Besides, my concern is with going forward. I can't change the past, so I can only worry about what to do next.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


In most states, the LL would next have to file a removal (sometimes called a set-out): sheriff and LL show up and set tenants personal belongings that remain in the property to the curb and LL changes the locks. If I read your post properly, LL got the Writ, but did not act after it expired....sloppy management on LL's part. I suspect LL will come after you again eventually, to recover the last three plus months of rent and damages. If so, consider hiring a local OH attorney, you MAY be able to undercut the LL's claim a bit owing to LL's footdragging--courts in my state do not appreciate when LL fails to execute properly, and they frequently take it out on the LL when they can.

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