The Eviction Process in Palm Beach County
As of July 1st, 2018 there are 689,908 housing units in Palm Beach County. Of that amount its estimated that 31.4% are tenant-occupied. That would mean that there is an estimated 216,631 tenant-occupied housing units in Palm Beach County. What does this mean? This means that there is potential for tens of thousands evictions a year and thankfully Palm Beach County and its Clerk & Comptroller staff have made the process quite navigable.
According to the official Palm Beach County website, the steps to a successful eviction are as follows:
Step 1. Three-Day Notice to Tenants
This three day notice has to be served by mail, hand delivered, or posted before you can file an Eviction Action.
Step 2. Pay the Fees and file the Paperwork
- Complaint for Tenant Eviction
- Copy of the three-day, statutory Notice to Tenant (defendant)
- Lease/Rental Agreement
- Filing fee – eviction alone: $185, eviction with damages of $2,500 or less: $185, evictions with damages of more than $2,500: $300.
- Service of Summons Fee for each tenant (defendant) – $40.00.
Step 3. Copies
The following copies must be submitted with the documents from Step II:
- Original Complaint for Tenant Eviction and two copies for each tenant (defendant). In order for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to serve the Five (5) day Summons without delay, make no errors on the addresses.
- Copy of the Statutory Notice to Tenant and Lease/Rental Agreement if any, along with two additional copies for each tenant (defendant).
- Two legal size (#10) envelopes for each tenant (defendant) and one for yourself (plaintiff). Envelopes must be addressed to each tenant (defendant), yourself (plaintiff) and contain sufficient postage to mail copies of the complaint, three-day notice, lease/rental agreement (if applicable) and summonses.
Step 4. Filing and Service of Summons
You may file your case with the Clerk & Comptroller’s office online using the statewide E-Filing portal, or in person or by mail at any Clerk & Comptroller courthouse location.
Step 5. Wait for a Response
Once the Complaint is filed, and after the Defendants are served, each Defendant has 5 business days to respond to the Complaint. Please note that the 5 days are excluding designated holidays, weekends, the day the Summons is served. You can check the case status online using eCaseView. If the Tenant(s) fails to respond, you may continue with the following steps.
Step 6. Get the Paperwork for the Judgment for Eviction
The two documents you will need are:
- Motion for Default
- Final Judgment
You can attain these documents from the Clerk.
Step 7. Originals, Copies and Attachments
- One original completed Motion for Default
- One original completed Final Judgment: one copy for each tenant (defendant) and one copy for yourself
- One stamped legal size (#10) envelope for each tenant, and one stamped/addressed to you
Step 8. The Writ of Possession
- Request the issuance of the Writ of Possession in person or by mail from the Clerk & Comptroller’s office.
- The Sheriff charges $90.00 for service of the Writ of Possession. You must pay in the form of cashiers check, bank check or money order. Make sure it is payable to Sheriff of Palm Beach County.
- You must provide a self-addressed and stamped envelope for each of the Defendants.
- Obtain and complete a Sheriff Information Sheet. You can get this from the Clerk