A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT AMENDING THE LAWS RELATED TO LANDLORD AND TENANT RELATIONSHIPS TO SHORTEN THE TIME PERIOD REQUIRED TO EVICT A TENANT.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends GS 7A-222 to clarify that in a small claim action to evict a tenant,the magistrate is required to render judgment on the same day on which the evidence is concluded and submission of legal authorities occurs, except(1) whenthe parties agree on an extension of additional time for entering the judgment and (2) when the summary ejectment (eviction)case is more complex. Provides examples of more complex summary ejectment cases.
Deletes provision prohibiting a magistrate from continuing any summary ejectment action for more than five days without the express consent of the plaintiff and requiring a magistrate to pay $50 per day to the plaintiff, excluding weekends and legal holidays, for the number of days the magistrate continued the summary ejectment action beyond the time periods specified in this section.Instead, provides that if either party in the action moves for a continuance, the magistrate must render a decision on the motion under Rule 40(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. (Rule 40(b) provides that acontinuancemay be granted only for good cause shown and upon such terms and conditions as justice may require.) Prohibits the magistrate from continuing an action for more than five days without the consent of both parties.
Amends GS 7A-228 to delete requirement that written notice of appeal in a summary ejectment action under Article 3 of GS Chapter 42must befiled with the clerk of superior court within five days after the judgment is entered and reverts to current law, which provides 10 days for the filing of an appeal in a summary ejectment action. Makes conforming changes. Provides that if theappealing partypetitions to qualifyas an indigentand the petition is denied, the appealing party has an additional five days to perfect the appeal in the summary ejectment action by paying the court costs. Makes conforming changes, deleting all amendments to subsection (b1) of GS 71-228 from the 1st edition. Amends subsection (c) of this section to identify actions required of the defendant in a summary ejectment case and provides that a plaintiff may file a motion to dismiss if a defendant fails to adhere to the listed requirements.
Amends GS 42-25.9 to allow a landlord to dispose of personal property remaining on the premisesseven business days (was,five days), after being placed in lawful possession by execution of a writ of possession. Deletes requirement for notice to the tenantthree days before the landlord sells the tenant's property and reverts to current law, which requires seven days' notice.Requires surplus proceeds to be disbursed to the tenant, upon request,within seven businessdays (was,five days) after the sale. Makes conforming changes.
Deletes changes made in the 1st edition to GS 42-28 regarding the issuance of a summons by the clerk. Provides that in counties with a population of at least 300,000, the clerk, after the summons is issued, is toadhere to the wishes of the plaintiffto either(1) return the summons to the plaintiff or (2) forward the summons to the sheriff.
Amends GS 42-49 to provide thatin counties with a population of at least 300,000,for the purposes of this section only,the term "officer" as used in subsection (a) of this sectionmeans (1) any person, over 21, who is not a party to the action and is employed by the plaintiff to serve the summons and complaint in summary ejectmentor (2) the sheriff of the county where the premises are located.
Deleteschanges to GS 42-36.2, which shortened from ten days to five days the amount of time allowed for the release of property, storage of property, and for the tenant to request release of the property and reverts to current law, which provides for ten days for those actions. Provides that after a landlord has lawful possession of a tenant's property, if the landlord offers to release the tenant's property and the tenant fails to retrieve that property during the landlord's regular business hours within seven business days, the landlord maysell, throw away, or otherwise dispose of the property in accordance with the provisions of GS 42-25.9(g).
Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts to develop a form for parties in summary ejectment actions in small claims court to inform them of the process and the time line in summary ejectment actions.
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