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If You're Being Evicted

1) If you want to fight your eviction for any of these reasons, you should retain a lawyer right away, or at least get good legal advice...

  • Your landlord hasn’t given you credit for rent that you paid

  • You haven’t been properly notified

  • You are being retaliated against, or

  • Your residence is uninhabitable

For free or reduced cost legal help, call (901) 527-3573, or visit


2) If the Civil Warrant was merely left at your door, and not personally given to you, the landlord can still get a “Possession only” judgment and evict you, but not a money judgment.

  • If this happens and you can’t pay your rent or don’t intend to stay or pay: Just don’t go to court. The landlord will be allowed to evict you on the 10th day after the court date, but this will not otherwise affect your credit record.

  • If you can pay and want to stay: you must contact your landlord and quickly make arrangements, but that discussion should happen before the court date; NOT inside the courtroom.

3) If you were personally served with the Civil Warrant; and it asks for a money judgment, and you either disagree with the amount, or you need more time, you or your lawyer must go to court at the scheduled time and request a continuance.

  • If this is the first setting, the request will be granted.

  • If there has been a previous court date on this case, then it is up to the judge, and you should not count on that request being granted.

  • A continuance may give you time to catch up, or to make arrangements to move.

4) Even if the landlord is granted the eviction judgment, they still have to wait 10 more days before actually evicting you. Anything that is valuable to you must be removed before that deadline, or it will be set out on the street.

5) There is no absolute requirement that you go to court. If you don’t plan to fight back, and if you’ve already moved out, or if you can move out within 10 days after the court date, don’t go. If no one shows up to defend the lawsuit, the judgment will be granted, but you will not be punished for failure to appear.


IMPORTANT: If you’ve been evicted or just locked out, and your landlord has not served you with a Civil Warrant (in person or at the door), and the lease you signed does not waive your rights to prior notice, your landlord may have violated the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act. If so, your attorney can require the landlord to pay for your legal fees.


  • For more information, visit the Memphis Renter’s Rights Facebook page

  • To be added to the MICAH email list, go to

  • To join “MICAH Action Alerts” so you’ll know when to act, send text “@micahac” to the phone # 81010

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