Eviction Time Line

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created October 20, 2020
Eviction Timeline
Notice to Quit Tenant receives notice to quit, ending or terminating the tenancy. Tenant does not have to move out by the date on the notice.
Tenancy Terminates If tenant receives 14-day notice to quit, tenancy terminates 14 days after receipt, unless tenant revives the tenancy by paying. If tenant receives 30-day (or rental period) notice to quit, check to make sure the notice is properly done.
After tenancy terminates Service of Summons and Complaint Landlord can have summons and complaint served, but only after tenancy is terminated.
7 - 30 days after service of summons and complaint Entry Date Landlord can file (enter) complaint in court. Must file it on a Monday at least 7 days, but no more than 30 days, after she has summons and complaint served on tenant.
On entry date Tenant’s Motion to Dismiss Tenant may file a motion to dismiss the case on the entry date or with the answer.
Court mails notice of first court event date
3 days before first court event Tenant’s Answer and Discovery Due (Answer Date) Landlord and court must receive answer and discovery forms 3 days before the first court event.
14 days after first court event If the case does not settle, the court will set a new court date no sooner than 14 days from the first court event.
10 days after landlord receives discovery Landlord’s Discovery Response Due Landlord’s response to discovery due 10 days after tenant serves discovery.
5 days after landlord’s failure to respond Tenant’s Motion to Compel Discovery Tenant must serve motion to compel discovery on landlord within 5 business days after the landlord’s failure to respond or inadequate response to discovery.
1 day after trial Entry of Judgment Court can enter judgment the day after the court makes its decision.
10 days after judgment Appeal Tenant or landlord must appeal within 10 days from entry of judgment.
11 days after judgment Execution Landlord can get an execution from court and give to sheriff or constable to serve.
1 day after execution Notice of Eviction Sheriff can serve the execution (48-hour notice of eviction) on tenant.
2 days after execution Sheriff Can Move Tenant Out Sheriff can move tenant out 48 hours after landlord gets the execution.

Adapted from Legal Tactics

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
Monday-Friday
between
9am and 4pm