This article summarizes post judgment eviction procedures in Arizona. In short, once a landlord has been awarded a judgment, the tenant can stay in the rental unit only if an agreement is worked out with the landlord or by filing an appeal and paying a supersedeas bond. If neither of those circumstances exists, the landlord must apply for and be granted a writ of restitution to evict the tenant. The tenant can also file a motion to set aside the judgment, but doing so does not prevent execution of the writ of restitution or allow the tenant to stay in the rental unit.
The Writ of Restitution
The landlord cannot take possession of the property until a writ of restitution is obtained and carried out by the sheriff or constable.
For eviction judgments of immediate and irreparable breach, the landlord can get a writ of restitution the next court day. In other cases, the landlord must return to court after five days to obtain a writ of restitution. Writs of restitution must be served on a tenant by a constable or sheriff.
Once the writ of restitution has been lawfully executed, the tenant may not remain at or return to the rental unit without the express permission of the landlord. If the tenant stays or returns to the rental unit without permission, the tenant can be charged with criminal trespass.
Appeal and Bond
The tenant has 5 days to file a notice of appeal after the judge has signed the judgment. Filing the notice of appeal will not allow the tenant to remain in the rental unit. If a tenant wants to remain in the rental home during the appeal, the tenant must also pay an appropriate supersedeas bond and continue to pay rent into court as it becomes due. The supersedeas bond must be filed with the trial court. This bond cannot be waived or deferred. In the case of an immediate termination, the supersedeas bond must be paid to the trial court before the writ of restitution is issued. The amount of the supersedeas bond varies depending on the amount of rent due, costs, and attorney fees.
Motion to Set Aside Judgment
A tenant may file a motion to set aside the judgment to challenge the eviction. There are 10 grounds supporting such a motion, which are as follows:
The eviction was not filed or heard at the right courthouse;
The tenant paid all money owed under the lease agreement before a judgment was entered or made a partial payment that was accepted by the landlord;
The tenant did not receive proper notice or was not properly served;
The judgment was entered as a result of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
Newly discovered material facts exist that could establish a defense to the eviction;
The tenant is protected under bankruptcy laws;
The tenant is requesting relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act;
The landlord and tenant have reached an agreement to set aside judgment;
The court judgment does not follow the law; or
The landlord committed fraud, or another type of misconduct.
For certain reasons, a motion to set aside the judgment must be filed with the trial court not more than 60 days after the judgment. For other grounds, the motion must be filed within a reasonable time. Filing a motion to set aside the judgment does not prevent the execution of a writ of restitution or allow the tenant to stay in the rental unit.
The landlord must hold the tenant’s personal property for 14 days after the constable or sheriff serves the writ of restitution, but the tenant must pay for the cost of removal and storage to recover personal property. Certain personal items are excluded from this requirement. For instance, landlords may take animals immediately to a shelter.
The landlord can apply the tenant’s refundable security deposit to unpaid rent and other lawful charges after an eviction. The landlord must send an itemized list of the charges to the tenant’s last known address. If the tenant does not dispute the charges within 60 days after the list is mailed, then the charges are considered final.
Please contact Lynx Legal with any questions regarding the above, and for all your eviction needs. We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a telephonic consultation on our website. Our experienced professionals are standing by to answer any questions or complete the intake if you are ready to start a case.