Laws and procedures for evictions vary from state to state, but generally consist of four distinct parts:

When a landlord wants to terminate a contract with a tenant, they are required to give the tenant notice prior to beginning formal legal proceedings. If termination is for cause (such as nonpayment of rent or violating the lease by having a pet), the tenant may have a short period of time to remedy the issue.

Summons & Trial
If the tenant does not leave voluntarily, the landlord can evict them by formally serving the tenant with a complaint. The complaint requires the tenant to respond in writing or by appearing in court. If neither happens, the landlord can file for a default judgment. If the tenant replies, a trial is set and a judge listens to testimony from both sides before deciding the matter.

Right to Redemption
In some states, tenants who failed to pay rent may be allowed to cancel the eviction and remain in the property if they pay the full amount of rent due plus all fees owed to the property owner. There are cases where tenants continually fail to pay rent, resulting in repeated eviction proceedings. In some jurisdictions, the landlord may file for “no right to redemption” meaning the judge’s ruling would stand.

Removal from the Property
After a tenant loses an eviction suit, they may have a short period of time to leave the premises before further legal action is taken. In some jurisdictions, the tenant may be required to leave the property immediately.

If the tenant refuses to leave, the landlord must get a “writ of possession” from the court and present it to the local sheriff or marshal. The officer then posts a notice for the tenant, informing them that law officers will return on a specific day to physically remove the tenant if they have not moved.