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  1. #1
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    Jul 2014
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    Default Can a Landlord Separately Sue for Rent and Damages After Completing an Eviction

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Colorado
    I was not able to establish whether a tenant had left, so I continued in court. The sheriff's office was able to personally serve a tenant, so the property was still occupied. My question is, "Can the tenant still be served so that I can get a money judgement for past rent and expenses?" Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    We have no no way of knowing if you can successfully serve your tenant (although I honestly don't understand the question given that you told us the tenant was served).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    Quote Quoting camel1971
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    My question is, "Can the tenant still be served so that I can get a money judgement for past rent and expenses?"
    There are two questions in there.

    Can your tenant be served? You can certainly attempt process service.

    Can you get a money judgment for past rent and expenses? You are likely going to have to file a separate lawsuit. You probably will get a judgment in your favor. Collecting on it is something else again.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    The tenant was personally served by the sheriff's office that he/she would be evicted on xx/xx/2019. The papers prior to this had only been posted, though.

    So I can file a separate suit to seek money damages, even though the first suit for possession is almost over? To get monetary damages, the defendant must be personally served from everything I've seen. So let's say I get the tenant personally served before, during or after the actual physical eviction, will I need to file again in order to garnish money, if the defendant refuses to pay, or would that be taken care of in the money judgement suit?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    There may be a better way to do this.

    The Colorado eviction statute allows the eviction action to include rent and damages. See CRS 13-40-110(1).

    You won't know the full amount until after the tenant is out. But that's OK because CRS 13-40-115(2) allows the rent and damages to be cumulative to the time of trial.

    Probably doesn't matter how much money you are awarded, my experience with deadbeat tenants is that collecting the money is often problematic.

    To get the rent and damage cost included in the eviction action you will need to file an amended complaint.

    CRS 13-40-123 allows for attorney fees if your lease has an attorney fee provision.

    Now, there's something I'm a little fuzzy about. I have seen eviction statutes in other states that expressly permit an action for rent and damage after the eviction takes place. But, given that Colorado's eviction statute allows the inclusion of rent and damage in the eviction action, I'm not so sure anymore that a separate action is available to you so I suggest you consult an attorney about that even if it costs you a few hundred just to get that opinion.

    Something else I'm not clear about. You wrote:

    Quote Quoting camel1971
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    The tenant was personally served by the sheriff's office that he/she would be evicted on xx/xx/2019. The papers prior to this had only been posted, though.
    Was that the Writ of Restitution that was served and the trial over or was that the initial summons and complaint for the eviction?

  6. #6
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    Jul 2014
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    That was the Writ that was personally served after the trial date. All of the previous materials such as the initial summons and complaint had been posted, though the server felt someone was home at the time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    So?

    Is the tenant out or not?

    Have you gone to the house to check? Asked if the sheriff put him out?

  8. #8
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    Jul 2014
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    Yes, there is a date for the sheriff to come. When the individual who served the notice of this, the tenant was personally served, so at that time, though there had been signs of moving out, the tenant was still there so I will need the sheriff to forcefully evict the tenants, it appears. This was the only time I was successful in having the tenant served persona

    When I go to meet the sheriff at the house, if the tenant is there, can he/she be served so that I can seek a money judgement, too? If so, what form should I use? A previous post mentioned an amended complaint. Do I file and serve the initial complaint again, only amended?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    I said earlier that I was a bit fuzzy on that. You could have filed an amended complaint early on in the case to include rent and potential damages. Now that a judgment is in effect and the Writ of Restitution has been served I think you will have to file a new lawsuit from scratch. The CO small claims limit is $7500. If rent and the cost of damage to the property total $7500 or less you can sue in small claims court.

    Forms and instructions are at:

    https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms...Form_Type_ID=9

    If you know what date the sheriff is going to put the tenant out you can get your papers filed with the court and have the sheriff serve the summons and complaint at the same time.

    I've owned rental properties. If it was me I'd be going over to the house every day at random times to see what is going on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Can I Still Sue for Rent/Damages; Eviction Process is Near Over

    It seems that you filed and served a complaint for unlawful detention (CRS 13-40- 10) asking that you be restored to the possession of your rental property. Also that you omitted to include in your pleading a count seeking monetary relief, that is a judgment for unpaid rent. Nor was your complaint timely amended to include such a count and prayer for relief as would have been permitted upon good cause being shown and timely filed. (See: CRS 13-40-113(2)

    It further appears that a Writ of Restitution has been issued indicating that the relief asked was granted concluding the lawsuit.

    It must necessarily follow that you have waived your right to seek a money judgment against the former tenant. In short it is too late. You don't get a second chance at the same defendant. You cannot force the defendant to defend against additional claims that arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions that formed the basis for the original lawsuit.

    The law does not permit the splitting causes of action and trying lawsuits piecemeal. In such case the first action may be pleaded in abatement of the subsequent suit. (Vol. 1 C. J. S. Section 102 p. 1306)

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