One of the most frequently asked questions involving civil procedures is the eviction process. Law enforcement, including the Sheriff’s office is prohibited from providing legal advice so we cannot advise anyone on how to proceed with the procedure. We can however give information about our involvement in the process. For legal advice please contact the attorney of your choice as we cannot suggest which attorney’s to use either. You can also check out the references provided at the end of this article. There are three steps involved in the legal eviction and they are listed, in order:
1. NOTICE TO QUIT
The first step in the process initiated by the landlord can be a three or thirty-day notice. The landlord may desire to have the Sheriff’s Office serve this writ. Fees for this are the same as standard service fees for other types of writs. There are no statutes that dictate a particular type of service or return day.
It is the policy of this Sheriff's Office to attempt service as soon as practical, and this service could be either personal, residential or may be accomplished by posting a notice at the residence. The Sheriff’s Office does not provide forms for these notices, nor do we give advice as to their content. It should be noted this notice is NOT a court document. It does not order their removal; it simply tells the tenant that if they have not vacated the property by the given day, the case will be taken to the court for an eviction process.
2. SUMMONS OF RESTITUTION
After the service of the notice, should the tenant fail to move, the landlord may then commence suit in one of the courts. The Summons, or notice of suit, may be sent to the Sheriff’s Office for service. It contains the time and date for trial and must be returned to the court within three days of its issuance. Service may be personal or residential. If the landlord prevails at trial, a Writ of Restitution may be issued. Service fees are required for service prior to receiving such writ from the court.
3. WRIT OF RESTITUTION
A Writ of Restitution directs the Sheriff to remove the defendant and restore the premises to the plaintiff. It is the Policy of this Sheriff's Office to execute such writs by attempting to obtain voluntary compliance from the defendant in a fashion which minimizes any unnecessary hardship. In the absence of compliance, the Sheriff's Office will execute the Writ by removing the occupants personally and/or by changing the locks on the premises. The Sheriff's Office will remove personal property only when specifically directed to do so by Court Order.
The Writ of Restitution must be executed within ten days of issuance. Because of this relatively narrow window, it will be executed without delay. To expedite the process, the plaintiff should provide a contact name and phone number.
Unless some other type of action is specified in the writ, a Writ of Restitution will be executed as follows:
Deputies will contact the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney to set up a time/date for restoring the premises to the plaintiff. Deputies will determine whether the plaintiff desires to change the locks himself/herself or if the Sheriff's Office will contact a locksmith to do the work. Should the plaintiff choose to change the locks, the Sheriff's Office is not obligated to stand by while the residence is being secured.
Deputies will go to the residence listed on the Writ and serve the defendant's copy. This may be personal, residential or posting service. If no one is home or they don't answer, the paper may be posted prominently on the residence, most often on the front door. In addition to the Writ, a separate form provided by the Sheriff's Office, or a handwritten notice on the back of the Writ, will designate a lockout date/time and a brief explanation of consequences of compliance is not met.
Barring exigent circumstances, a minimum of three days will be given to allow the defendant time to vacate the premises with his/her property. Three days is generally recommended to prevent the plaintiff from having to dispose of property under the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord Tenant Act. Generally, the Sheriff's Office will not execute Writs of Restitution on weekends or holidays.
On the date/time of the lockout, the Deputy will arrive at the location and remove any occupants from the premises. Occupants will be advised of trespassing violations they could be subject to if they return. Persons still having property in the residence will have to contact the plaintiff to arrange for removal of the property. Deputies will not take part in the disposal of property or photographing what the property is and looks like. Provisions for such are set out in the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act.
Whenever Deputies have removed occupants from a premises, they shall supply the occupant with a short period of time to obtain vital personal effects, or obtain such effects for the occupant. Deputies will take action to protect the person removed, if necessary, due to age infirmity, mental or emotional condition, illness or disability as provided by law.
If the premises involved are rental properties such as a house or an apartment, and the premises have been turned over to the plaintiff, the Deputy has no further obligation. If the Sheriff's Office has arranged for a locksmith to change locks, a bill will be obtained from the locksmith before the Deputy leaves.
The Nebraska State Law Library and some office supply stores may have forms and additional information to assist you.
Following is a list of statutes that are applicable to these proceedings. They are in no way all-inclusive to this subject and are not to be construed as legal advice.
Nebraska Statutes are available here.
(The links below are clickable.)
-25-21,219 through 25-21,235: Forcible entry and detainer
-76-1401 through 76-1449: Landlord and Tenant Act
-76-1450 through 76-14,111: Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act
-69-2301 through 69-2314: Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act
For more on the Landlord-tenant Act, please visit the link provided below.
Printable copy of eviction procedures: