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Residential Eviction

Residential Eviction

(Formerly known as Forcible Entry Or Detainer) - A court action by a landlord against a tenant to remove (evict) the tenant from a rented dwelling (house, apartment, mobile home, mobile home space, or floating home).


Quick Overview

  1. Plaintiff (landlord) files summons and complaint.  Clerk assigns date for first court appearance.
  2. First Appearance:  If tenant appears and wants to challenge eviction, mediation will be offered.  If parties decline mediation, or no agreement is reached, the defendant (tenant) must file an answer by 4:30 p.m. that same day.  All parties should report to the small claims clerk to pay the required fees for the hearing.
  3. If the parties reach an agreement through mediation, the case can be dismissed.  If either party fails to comply with the agreement, an affidavit can be filed and judgment will be entered.
  4. If the landlord prevails at trial, of if the tenant does not comply with a mediated agreement and the court enters a judgment for restitution, the landlord can require the tenant's removal.

General Information

    The action is for the possession of the property only.  However, the judge will listen to other limited issues if they are raised by the tenant as a defense to the action for possession.  The court will not give the landlord a judgment for monies owed.  A landlord must file a separate small claims action to be awarded a judgment of money or to process other non-possession claims.
    Prior to seeking help from court, the landlord must give the tenant proper written notice of the landlord's concern. If the tenant is required by the notice to do something (pay rent for example) or to quit doing something (loud music for example) the landlord cannot obtain help from the court unless the tenant does not comply with the notice. 
    In the case of failure to pay rent, the rent must be 7 or more days past due before notice can be given.  If the tenant does not comply with the notice within the required time, a complaint can be filed with the court.  If the landlord accepts a partial rent payment, the original notice may no longer be effective.
    The first appearance in court will be scheduled approximately 7-10 days after the landlord files the complaint and pays the court's fees.  At the first appearance the court will gather information from both the tenant and the landlord to determine if a hearing should be held.  The judge may also require the parties to meet with a mediator as part of the first appearance.

    If the tenant fails to appear, a default judgment will be entered in favor of the landlord for possession of the premises and costs.  If the tenant appears and the landlord does not, the case will be dismissed.  If both parties fail to appear, the case will be dismissed.
    Landlords and tenants often settle cases by agreeing on a date by which the tenant will move out, or by the tenant paying back rent and the landlord agreeing to let the tenant stay.  If the case is settled by the tenant agreeing to vacate, the judge will sign a Judgment of Restitution that gives the landlord possession of the dwelling after the date by which the tenant has agreed to vacate and the landlord's costs, including a prevailing fee.  If a different settlement is reached, the agreement needs to be put in writing and the judge will sign an order disposing of the case. A trained mediator may be available to help the parties find an agreement and to put that agreement in writing.
    If a full contested hearing is ordered, the tenant must file an answer as soon as possible, but no later than 4:30 p.m. the same day as the first appearance.  The tenant must pay an answer filing fee or apply to the court for a deferral of the cost. The tenant can request a jury trial but must pay an additional fee.  Answer forms are available at the small claims office and must be fully completed by the tenant.  The landlord must pay an additional filing fee and trial fee if the tenant is contesting. The additional fees must be paid immediately after the answer is filed.
  7. TRIAL
    A contested hearing (trial) will be scheduled for a date within 15 days of the first appearance unless the landlord agrees to a later date. At the hearing, the landlord must show the court why the landlord should be given possession of the property. The tenant may also offer evidence to show why the landlord should not be given possession.
    After hearing the evidence from the parties present, the judge will make a ruling and the judgment of the court is recorded as public record.  Such court information is usually reviewed and reported by credit reporting agencies and landlord associations.
    If a judgment for possession is ordered by the court, the landlord can enforce the judgment by having the court clerk issue a Notice of Restitution for a fee.  The notice is served on the tenant and gives the tenant four days, not counting the date it was served, to move from the premises.  The landlord must make arrangements for service with either the sheriff's office or a private process server.  If the notice is not complied with, the landlord must return to the court to request a Writ of Execution and pay an additional fee and cost for service.  The Court issues the Execution, which is given to the sheriff's office for service.  Unless the judgment otherwise states, neither the Notice of Restitution nor the Writ of Execution can be issued more than 60 days after the date of the judgment or more than 60 days after the date specified for possession in the judgment, whichever is later.
    The landlord needs to contact the sheriff's office to schedule a time to meet at the property, physically remove the tenant and turn the property over to the landlord.
    Once the tenant is removed the landlord may then change the locks and must store the tenant's remaining belongings.  The landlord must issue proper notice of the tenant's rights to the tenant.  The court does not have a form explaining tenants' rights. Forms may be obtained from landlord organizations or office supply/stationary stores.
    If an agreement is reached but the landlord claims the tenant has not done as the parties agreed, the landlord can file an affidavit with the court clerk and ask for judgment of restitution.  As in 9 above, a Notice of Restitution will be issued for a fee and must be served on the tenant.  The tenant has the right to immediately ask for a hearing on whether the agreement was followed.  The tenant must explain the reason for requesting a hearing. The court can deny the request. If the tenant does not contest the notice, once it has been properly served, or if the tenant is found to be in non-compliance by the court, the process described in 9, 10, and 11 above applies.



​A Residential Eviction is a court action by a landlord against a tenant to remove (evict) the tenant from a rented dwelling (house, apartment, mobile home, mobile home space, or floating home).

​Normally a trial will take place within 5 business days of the initial court appearance.  If the trial date turns out to be more than 15 days away, the landlord can demand that the tenant pay any accruing rent into court.

​At trial, the court will allow each side to present evidence of their claims against the other side.  Landlords and tenants should bring canceled checks, account books, dishonored checks, contracts, photographs, building inspection reports, insurance and housing reports, and any other documentation to support their claims.  The parties should also have witnesses available who can substantiate these documents.  Witnesses can be subpoenaed to attend the trial.  The court clerk has subpoena forms.

​The trial will be before a judge unless one party requests a jury trial.

​F.E.D. stands for FORCIBLE ENTRY OR DETAINER, which is what the eviction process used to be called.

​The landlord can file an "affidavit of non-compliance" with a notice of restitution with the small claims clerk.  A copy is served on the tenant.  Unless the tenant immediately requests a hearing based on a proper objection, judgment is entered for the landlord, who can begin the eviction process the same as if the landlord had won at trial.

​The court will issue a judgment based upon either a jury verdict or the judge's decision.  If the tenant wins, the case will be dismissed and the tenant can stay on the property.  If the landlord wins, a judgment will be issued and the landlord will be allowed to start the eviction.  The winning party may ask to recover its court costs.  If the landlord prevails, he may also ask for the costs of eviction.

​A residential eviction action is solely for the purposes of the eviction itself.  If any back rent or damages are claimed, the landlord must file a separate action.

If the tenant does not appear, the court will issue a judgment in favor of the landlord for return of the property and court costs.  If the tenant appears but not the landlord, the court will dismiss the action.
If both parties appear, the court will determine if the tenant wants to contest the case and have a trial.  The parties may want to attempt a settlement out of court.  The free services of a trained mediator may be available to help the parties.
If the landlord and tenant reach an agreement with the tenant agreeing to vacate the dwelling, the court will issue a judgment to that effect.  If any other kind of settlement is reached, the court will approve the agreement and dismiss the case.
If the tenant does not want to challenge the eviction, a judgment will be entered as requested by the landlord.

​Yes, Oregon law requires a landlord to file an action for eviction with the Circuit Court.  It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court order.

​The landlord may NOT use private help to evict a tenant, even if the judgment orders the tenant to vacate.  The landlord must file a notice of restitution and pay a fee. Notice forms are available in the small claims office.  The Sheriff or a private process server will serve the tenant with the notice to vacate. The tenant will then have four days to vacate. If the tenant still does not vacate the dwelling, the landlord must file for a writ of execution of judgment and pay additional fees. Only then will the Sheriff use physical force to remove the tenant.  Unless the judgment otherwise states, neither the notice of restitution nor the writ of execution can be issued more than 60 days after the date of the judgment or more than 60 days after the date specified for possession in the judgment, whichever is later.

​Yes, a landlord must serve a written notice on the tenant to vacate the dwelling.  The type of notice, and the timeframe in which the landlord may demand that the tenant vacate the premises, is regulated by state law, specifically Oregon Revised Statutes chapter 105.  Eviction notice forms are available for purchase at office supply/stationery stores.

​If either the landlord or the tenant cannot pay filing fees, that party can request a fee deferral form from the clerk in the small claims office. A completed form must include an explanation of why the party needs a fee deferral.

​After delivering notice to the tenant, and waiting the appropriate time, a landlord can file a residential eviction action by filling out a complaint.  Complaint and summons forms are available at the "small claims office" at the courthouse located in Coquille.  Fees are required, and the landlord must bring a copy of the eviction notice to the clerk's office in order to file the action.  The clerk will schedule a "first appearance date."

​The tenant may want to talk to a lawyer.

​If a settlement cannot be reached, the parties will need to go to the small claims office so that the tenant can file an "answer" on the form provided by the clerk.  Additional fees will have to be paid by both sides.  The answer MUST be filed, and fees paid, by 4:30 p.m. on the same day as the first appearance.

​A copy of the complaint and the summons will be served on the tenant by a private process server or by a Coos County sheriff's deputy. The court clerk will also mail a copy to the tenant's address.

Residential Eviction Forms