7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies provisions related to forcible entry and detainer.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ addresses the preparation of summons and timing of when to appear and defend an
14 ▸ addresses timing of an evidentiary hearing;
15 ▸ repeals exemption involving commercial tenants;
16 ▸ amends provisions related to an order of restitution; and
17 ▸ makes technical changes.
18 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20 Other Special Clauses:
22 Utah Code Sections Affected:
24 78B-6-807, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapter 33
25 78B-6-810, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapters 184 and 298
26 78B-6-812, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 206
28 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
29 Section 1. Section 78B-6-807 is amended to read:
30 78B-6-807. Allegations permitted in complaint -- Time for appearance -- Service
31 of summons.
32 (1) The plaintiff, in [
33 (a) shall set forth the facts on which [
34 (b) may set forth any circumstances of fraud, force, or violence which may have
35 accompanied the alleged forcible entry, or forcible or unlawful detainer; and
36 (c) claim damages or compensation for the occupation of the premises, or both.
37 (2) If the unlawful detainer charged is after default in the payment of rent, the
38 complaint shall state the amount of rent due.
43 (3) A defendant shall appear and defend the action within three business days from the
44 date of service. Prominent notice of this requirement shall be separately endorsed by a judge, a
45 clerk of the court, or counsel for the plaintiff.
46 (4) The court may authorize service by publication or mail for cause shown.
47 (5) Service by publication is complete one week after publication.
48 (6) Service by mail is complete three days after mailing.
49 (7) The summons shall be changed in form to conform to the time of service as
50 ordered, and shall be served as in other cases.
51 Section 2. Section 78B-6-810 is amended to read:
52 78B-6-810. Court procedures.
53 (1) In an action under this chapter in which the tenant remains in possession of the
55 (a) the court shall expedite the proceedings, including the resolution of motions and
57 (b) the court shall begin the trial within 60 days after the day on which the complaint is
58 served, unless the parties agree otherwise; and
59 (c) if this chapter requires a hearing to be held within a specified time, the time may be
60 extended to the first date thereafter on which a judge is available to hear the case in a
61 jurisdiction in which a judge is not always available.
62 (2) (a) In an action for unlawful detainer [
64 shall hold an evidentiary hearing, upon request of either party, within 10 business days after the
65 day on which the defendant files [
66 (b) At the evidentiary hearing held in accordance with Subsection (2)(a):
67 (i) the court shall determine who has the right of occupancy during the litigation's
68 pendency; and
69 (ii) if the court determines that all issues between the parties can be adjudicated
70 without further proceedings, the court shall adjudicate those issues and enter judgment on the
72 (3) (a) In an action for unlawful detainer in which the claim is for nuisance and alleges
73 an act that would be considered criminal under the laws of this state, the court shall hold an
74 evidentiary hearing within 10 days after the day on which the complaint is filed to determine
75 whether the alleged act occurred.
76 (b) The hearing required by Subsection (3)(a) shall be set at the time the complaint is
77 filed and notice of the hearing shall be served upon the defendant with the summons at least
78 three calendar days before the scheduled time of the hearing.
79 (c) If the court, at an evidentiary hearing held in accordance with Subsection (3)(a),
80 determines that it is more likely than not that the alleged act occurred, the court shall issue an
81 order of restitution.
82 (d) If an order of restitution is issued in accordance with Subsection (3)(c), a constable
83 or the sheriff of the county where the property is situated shall return possession of the property
84 to the plaintiff immediately.
85 (e) The court may allow a period of up to 72 hours before restitution may be made
86 under Subsection (3)(d) if the court determines the time is appropriate under the circumstances.
87 (f) At the evidentiary hearing held in accordance with Subsection (3)(a), if the court
88 determines that all issues between the parties can be adjudicated without further proceedings,
89 the court shall adjudicate those issues and enter judgment on the merits.
90 (g) "An act that would be considered criminal under the laws of this state" under
91 Subsection (3)(a) includes only the following:
92 (i) an act that would be considered a felony under the laws of this state;
93 (ii) an act that would be considered criminal affecting the health or safety of a tenant,
94 the landlord, the landlord's agent, or other person on the landlord's property;
95 (iii) an act that would be considered criminal that causes damage or loss to any tenant's
96 property or the landlord's property;
97 (iv) a drug- or gang-related act that would be considered criminal;
98 (v) an act or threat of violence against any tenant or other person on the premises, or
99 against the landlord or the landlord's agent; and
100 (vi) any other act that would be considered criminal that the court determines directly
101 impacts the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by any tenant.
102 (4) (a) At any hearing held in accordance with this chapter in which the tenant after
103 receiving notice fails to appear, the court shall issue an order of restitution.
104 (b) If an order of restitution is issued in accordance with Subsection (4)(a), a constable
105 or the sheriff of the county where the property is situated shall return possession of the property
106 to the plaintiff immediately.
107 (5) A court adjudicating matters under this chapter may make other orders as are
108 appropriate and proper.
111 Section 3. Section 78B-6-812 is amended to read:
112 78B-6-812. Order of restitution -- Service -- Enforcement -- Disposition of
113 personal property -- Hearing.
114 (1) [
115 (a) direct the defendant to vacate the premises, remove the defendant's personal
116 property, and restore possession of the premises to the plaintiff, or be forcibly removed by a
117 sheriff or constable;
118 (b) advise the defendant of the time limit set by the court for the defendant to vacate
119 the premises, which shall be three calendar days following service of the order, unless the court
120 determines that a longer or shorter period is appropriate [
121 extenuating circumstances; and
122 (c) advise the defendant of the defendant's right to a hearing to contest the manner of
123 its enforcement.
124 (2) (a) A copy of the order of restitution and a form for the defendant to request a
125 hearing as listed on the form shall be served in accordance with Section 78B-6-805 by a person
126 authorized to serve process pursuant to Subsection 78B-8-302(1). If personal service is
127 impossible or impracticable, service may be made by:
128 (i) mailing a copy of the order and the form by first class mail to the defendant's
129 last-known address and posting a copy of the order and the form at a conspicuous place on the
130 premises; or
131 (ii) mailing a copy of the order and the form to the commercial tenant defendant's
132 last-known place of business and posting a copy of the order and the form at a conspicuous
133 place on the business premises.
134 (b) A request for hearing by the defendant may not stay enforcement of the restitution
135 order unless:
136 (i) the defendant furnishes a corporate bond, cash bond, certified funds, or a property
137 bond to the clerk of the court in an amount approved by the court according to the formula set
138 forth in Subsection 78B-6-808(4)(b); and
139 (ii) the court orders that the restitution order be stayed.
140 (c) The date of service, the name, title, signature, and telephone number of the person
141 serving the order and the form shall be legibly endorsed on the copy of the order and the form
142 served on the defendant.
143 (d) The person serving the order and the form shall file proof of service in accordance
144 with Rule 4(e), Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.
145 (3) (a) If the defendant fails to comply with the order within the time prescribed by the
146 court, a sheriff or constable at the plaintiff's direction may enter the premises by force using the
147 least destructive means possible to remove the defendant.
148 (b) Personal property of the defendant may be removed from the premises by the
149 sheriff or constable and transported to a suitable location for safe storage. The sheriff or
150 constable may delegate responsibility for inventory, moving, and storage to the plaintiff, who
151 shall store the personal property in a suitable place and in a reasonable manner.
152 (c) A tenant may not access the property until the removal and storage costs have been
153 paid in full, except that the tenant shall be provided reasonable access within five business days
154 to retrieve:
155 (i) clothing;
156 (ii) identification;
157 (iii) financial documents, including all those related to the tenant's immigration status,
158 employment status;
159 (iv) documents pertaining to receipt of public services; and
160 (v) medical information, prescription medications, and any medical equipment required
161 for maintenance of medical needs.
162 (d) The personal property removed and stored shall, after 15 calendar days, be
163 considered abandoned property and subject to Section 78B-6-816.
164 (4) In the event of a dispute concerning the manner of enforcement of the restitution
165 order, the defendant may file a request for a hearing. The court shall set the matter for hearing
166 within 10 calendar days from the filing of the request, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and
167 shall mail notice of the hearing to the parties.
168 (5) The Judicial Council shall draft the forms necessary to implement this section.
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel