An action must be filed by a “person of interest”, i.e. the property owner or other individual or entity identified as the landlord or lessor on the lease. If you are the property manager or the individual or entity acting as an agent for the owner(s), you may be required to show proof of your authority.
The judgment amount is limited to $25,000.00 (if personally served) and the property must be located in Denver County.
For additional information, please review Colorado Revised Statute §13-40-101 et seq.
You must serve the tenant a Demand for Compliance or Right to Possession or a Notice to Quit and allow the time for the tenant to comply to pass. If the last day of any period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period is extended to include the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Steps to Filing Your Case
You have already completed and posted the Demand for Compliance or Right to Possession Notice or Notice to Quit and the time for the tenant to comply has passed. If this has NOT been completed do NOT proceed to the next step.
Complete Initial Forms
The caption (plaintiff and defendant information) area of the form needs to be completed on all forms filed. You are the plaintiff and the person(s) you are evicting is/are the defendant(s).
- Fill in all the blanks and complete all necessary information of the Complaint form.
- If you are filing against multiple defendants in the same action, list all of the defendants.
- Summons in Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer – Complete only the caption (plaintiff and defendant information) portion of the Summons form.
- Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure – Complete only the caption (plaintiff and defendant information) portion of the Answer form.
File with the Court
- Provide the Court with two copies of the completed documents. The Court will keep one copy and return the other copy to you. You may then make the appropriate number of copies to have served on the defendant(s). If the Court makes copies for you, copy fees will be assessed.
- File a copy of the lease or rental agreement (if a written lease or rental agreement was made) with the Court. Please mark the Exhibit “A” if available. The lease or rental agreement must be served to the defendant(s).
- File a copy of the Demand for Compliance or Right to Possession Notice or Notice to Quit with the Court. Please mark as Exhibit “B”. A copy of this notice, which has already been served to the defendant(s), must be attached to the Complaint.
- Pay a NONREFUNDABLE filing fee.
- Your case will be set for a “Return” court date.
- The clerk will set your court date and complete the appropriate fields on the Summons form.
- The court date will be made returnable no less than 7 days and no more than 14 days from the date of issuance.
Serve the Summons, Complaint, and Answer forms
Personal service or service by posting and mail must be at least 7 days before the scheduled appearance date on the Summons. You are responsible for paying the service fees, if any.
- Personal Service: Select either the Sheriff’s Department, a private process server, or someone you know who is 18 years or older and not a party to the action and who knows the Rules of Service to serve the Defendant.
- You can locate private process servers in the yellow pages under Process Servers.
- Provide the process server with the Affidavit of Service and two sets of the Summons, Complaint and Answer forms for each defendant. In addition attach all appropriate exhibits. The lease or rental agreement must be served to the defendant(s).
- The process server will return a completed Affidavit of Service to you.
- Each defendant must be served at least 7 days before the day of appearance specified in the Summons.
- If the person doing your service cannot serve the defendant(s) personally, the papers should be posted on the door to the main entrance of the dwelling or other conspicuous place upon the premises. The Court will only award you possession and not money damages if you post and mail the Summons, Complaint and Answer. A monetary award may be granted only if there has been personal service of process on the defendant(s) and/or the plaintiff(s).
- Service by Posting and Mailing: If personal service cannot be made upon the defendant(s), the person completing service must;
- Post the papers on the door to the main entrance or other conspicuous place upon the premises.
- No later than the next day following the day you file the Complaint with the Court, you must mail a copy of the Summons, Complaint, and Answer to the defendant(s) by postage pre-paid, first class mail. (In addition, attach the appropriate exhibits.)
- After you have placed the forms in the mail, complete the certificate of mailing. The certificate of mailing is included on the Summons. The purpose of completing the certificate of mailing is to provide proof that you did mail the Summons, Complaint and Answer to the defendant(s) by postage pre-paid, first class mail.
- To obtain a judgment for possession, service must be completed by posting AND mailing the Summons, Complaint and Answer.
- File the original Summons with proof of service (Affidavit of Service and Certificate of Mailing, if applicable) with the Court on or before your return date.
- Keep a copy of the Affidavit of Service for your records.
Responding to the Summons and Complaint
- Complete the Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure form.
- File the Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure in writing with the Court, setting forth the grounds on which the claim for possession is based on and admitting or denying all of the allegations of the complaint and presenting every defense.
- The purpose of the Answer is for the defendant to admit or deny all of the allegations in the complaint, present every defense, and to state any claims against the plaintiff that the defendant might have.
- The Answer and/or Counterclaim may be filed on or before the specified time to appear on the Summons.
- If a counterclaim is filed, the defendant must personally serve the plaintiff with the Counterclaim.
- Pay a NONREFUNDABLE filing fee.
Appear on your scheduled court date. If you fail to appear, your case may be dismissed. If you are the defendant and you do not appear or respond to the Complaint, a default judgment could enter against you.
- It is important that you are on time or early for your court appearance and that you have all of your information with you.
- Please turn off you cell phone and respect all parties in the courtroom.
- You may be asked to speak to the other party at this time to determine if the claim can be settled to avoid going to trial.
- Possible outcomes when you return to Court are;
- Judgment enters,
- An agreement is reached, or
- Your case will be set for trial
If you do not understand this information, please contact an attorney.
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