Chapter 534 Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer
534.230 - Extent of claim of person having lawful possession.
When any forcible entry and detainer, or unlawful detainer, shall be made upon any lands or other possessions, against the provisions of this chapter, the person having the lawful possession, shall, against the wrongdoer, be considered as entitled to such quantity, extent and limits of lands as by the patent, grant, concession, deed, survey, donation, settlement or preemption right, such person or those under whom he claims can, by the laws of the United States or of this state, have and lawfully claim in and to such premises.
534.330 - Judgment on verdict for complainant.
1.If the verdict of the jury or the finding of the judge is for the complainant, the judge shall record the verdict or finding, and the judgment shall be that the complainant have restitution of the premises found to have been forcibly or unlawfully detained, and recover from the defendant the sum of ______ dollars, double the sum assessed by the jury, or found for his damages; and also at the rate of ______ dollars, double the sum found per month, for rents and profits, from the ______ day of______, 20______, the day of judgment, until restitution be made, together with costs.
2.The court, upon issuing judgment in favor of the plaintiff pursuant to subsection 1 of this section, shall, within two business days following the date the judgment becomes final, transmit a copy of such judgment to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction to enforce such judgment.
534.130 - Failure of defendant to appear.
If the defendant, being duly summoned, does not appear at the time appointed for hearing the complaint, the judge shall proceed with the hearing of the cause.
534.030 - Unlawful detainer defined — foreclosure, notice to tenants, procedure.
1.When any person willfully and without force holds over any lands, tenements or other possessions, after the termination of the time for which they were demised or let to the person, or the person under whom such person claims; or after a mortgage or deed of trust has been foreclosed and the person has received written notice of a foreclosure; or at least ten business days have elapsed after the date of the notice described in subsection 3 of this section; or when premises are occupied incident to the terms of employment and the employee holds over after the termination of such employment; or when any person wrongfully and without force, by disseisin, shall obtain and continue in possession of any lands, tenements or other possessions, and after demand made, in writing, for the delivery of such possession of the premises by the person having the legal right to such possession, or the person's agent or attorney, shall refuse or neglect to vacate such possession, such person is guilty of an "unlawful detainer".
2.In any case where a foreclosed property is occupied prior to the foreclosure by a person who was a residential tenant, known in this section as the occupant, not in violation of the provisions of section 441.020, then after the foreclosure sale, the new owner of the property shall give the occupant notice, as described in subsection 3 of this section, that the sale has occurred, that they are the new owner, and if said owner seeks possession from the occupant that the occupant has not less than ten business days from the date of this notice to vacate the premises.No unlawful detainer action or any other action seeking possession may be commenced against the occupant within ten business days following the date of notice by the new owner that the foreclosure sale has occurred.Nothing in this section creates a tenancy between the new owner and the occupant.This section does not preclude the new owner from entering into an agreement with the occupant that allows the occupant to remain in the foreclosed property.
3.The notice required in subsection 2 of this section shall be sent by certified or registered mail if the name of the occupant is known to the new owner.If the name of the occupant is not known to the new owner then the notice shall be sent by regular mail and addressed to "occupant".The envelope containing such notice shall have the following words printed on the envelope face:"Notice to Occupant Following Foreclosure".A notice shall also be posted on the door of the premises where the occupant resides.The notices required in this subsection shall contain in substance the following text:
Attention Occupant:(name of the new owner of the foreclosed property) is now the owner of the property which you had been renting or leasing at (address of foreclosed property, including apartment number, if applicable) after purchasing it at a trustee's foreclosure sale on (date of foreclosure sale).Unless you agree with (new owner) to a rental or lease agreement for the premises, (new owner), on or after (number not less than ten) business days following the date of this notice, may seek a court order or judgment to have you removed from the premises.Remaining on the premises after the date of this notice does not make you a tenant of the new owner.
(Name of new owner) (Address of new owner)
(Telephone number of new owner)
(Fax number of new owner, optional)
(Email address of new owner, optional)
534.320 - Verdict may be corrected in matters of form.
No verdict shall be set aside for informality, but the judge may in the presence of the jury, correct the same in matters of form, changing no matter of substance.
534.220 - Rights under derivative titles may be shown.
Evidence for proof of rights under derivative titles, provided for by this chapter, shall be admissible in actions instituted under this chapter.
534.020 - Forcible entry and detainer defined.
If any person shall enter upon or into any lands, tenements or other possessions, with force or strong hand, or with weapons, or by breaking open the doors or windows or other parts of a house, whether any person be in it or not, or by threatening to kill, maim or beat the party in possession, or by such words or actions as have a natural tendency to excite fear or apprehension of danger, or by putting out of doors or carrying away the goods of the party in possession, or by entering peaceably and then turning out by force, or frightening, by threats or other circumstances of terror, the party out of possession, and detain and hold the samein every such case, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a "forcible entry and detainer" within the meaning of this chapter.
534.120 - Failure to prosecute, nonsuit.
If the complainant fail to attend and prosecute his suit in person, or by agent or attorney, at the time appointed for the hearing of the complaint, he shall be nonsuited, and the defendant shall recover his costs.
534.355 - Court may include in judgment of possession an order to sheriff requiring delivery of premises to prevailing party within fifteen days.
In an action pursuant to chapter 441, chapter 524, chapter 535, or this chapter, the court in entering a judgment for possession of the premises, at the request of the prevailing party, may order the sheriff or appropriate officer to deliver possession of the premises to the prevailing party within fifteen days of the date the judgment becomes final.Said order may be withdrawn at the request of the prevailing party.
534.100 - Return of officer.
The officer shall, on or before the trial day, return the summons and certify thereon, or annex thereto, how he executed it.
534.300 - Three years' possession a bar to the action.
The provisions of this chapter shall not extend to any person who has had the uninterrupted occupation or been in quiet possession of any lands or tenements for the space of three whole years together, immediately preceding the filing of the complaint, or who has continued three whole years in the peaceable possession after the time for which the premises were demised or let to him, or those under whom he claims, shall have expired.
534.200 - Proof required of complainant.
The complainant shall not be compelled to make further proof of the forcible entry or detainer than that he was lawfully possessed of the premises, and that the defendant unlawfully entered into and detained or unlawfully detained the same.
534.110 - Power to issue subpoenas and compel attendance of witnesses.
The judge shall have power to issue subpoenas for witnesses on the application of either party, and if the witnesses summoned do not attend, may issue an attachment to compel their attendance, and may continue the cause at his discretion, not exceeding ten days.
534.010 - What entries deemed lawful.
No person shall enter upon or into any lands, tenements or other possessions, and detain and hold the same, but when entry is given by law, and then only in a peaceable manner.
534.210 - Merits of title cannot be inquired into.
The merits of the title shall in nowise be inquired into, on any complaint which shall be exhibited by virtue of the provisions of this chapter.
534.310 - Verdict for complainant — what it shall include.
Whenever the verdict of the jury or finding of the judge shall be for the complainant, damages shall be assessed as well for waste and injury committed upon the premises found to have been forcibly or unlawfully detained, as for all rents and profits due and owing up to the time of the rendering of the verdict or finding of the judge, and such verdict or finding shall also state the monthly value of the rents and profits of said premises.
534.345 - Notice of default judgment in eviction proceeding must be sent to defaulting party.
In an action pursuant to chapter 441, chapter 524, or this chapter, the court in entering a judgment for possession of the premises shall, if the defendant defaults, send a notice to the party ordered to relinquish possession that a judgment for possession of the premises has been entered against said party, and said party must vacate the premises when the judgment is final.
534.040 - Estates comprehended in sections 534.010 to 534.030.
Sections 534.010 to 534.030 shall extend to and comprehend terms for years, and all estates, whether freehold or less than freehold.
534.140 - Both parties appear — proceedings.
When both parties appear before the judge in person, or by agent or attorney, at the time appointed for the trial of the cause, the judge shall proceed to examine the complaint and proofs of the parties, and judgment shall thereupon be rendered according to the finding of the judge, as herein directed.
534.340 - Transcript of judgment — revived and enforced, how.
Such judgment may be filed, transcripted and shall have like effect as other judgments and may be revived and enforced in the same manner.
534.240 - Extent of claim where there has been no survey.
Where no legal survey has been made of such possession, the improvement of the person entitled to the possession shall be in the middle of the tract as near as may be, making the survey as near in a square as may be, not to interfere with any established survey or line, or any conditional line agreed upon by the adjoining proprietors or possessors.
534.540 - Proceedings on default of defendant.
In case of a judgment by default, a jury, or the court if no jury be required, shall assess the monthly value of the premises, and the damages and judgment shall be rendered on the verdict accordingly.
534.050 - Demand for possession, how made and proved.
The demand required by section 534.030 shall be made either by delivering a copy of such demand to the person in possession, or by leaving such copy with some person above the age of fifteen years, residing on or being in charge of the premises; or, if no such person be in the actual occupancy thereof, then by posting such copy on the premises.When the demand shall be made by an officer authorized to serve judicial process, his return shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated; and if such demand be made by any other person, the return shall be sworn to by such person, and shall then be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
534.250 - Persons having settlement on public lands may maintain action, when.
Every person who shall have a settlement or field on public land, who shall reside on or be in possession of the same at the time of the forcible entry and detainer, or unlawful detainer, shall have the same remedy as is herein provided in such cases, against any person who shall make such unlawful entry upon him; provided, that any person having authority from the United States, or lawfully claiming under them, shall have power to enter into such land.
534.350 - Execution — when issued and levied.
The judge rendering judgment in any such cause may issue execution at any time after judgment, but such execution shall not be levied until after the expiration of the time allowed for the taking of an appeal, except execution for the purpose of restoring possession shall be issued no sooner than ten days after the judgment.However, the execution for purposes of restoring possession shall be stayed pending an appeal if the losing party posts an appeal bond.
534.270 - If lessor dies, remedy survives to heirs.
If any lessor of any lands, tenements or other real possessions shall die or shall grant or assign such lands or tenement or other real possessions, before the expiration of the term for which they were demised or let, his heirs, devisees, grantees, assigns and executors or administrators in charge of the lands of such lessor shall have the same remedies against anyone guilty of an unlawful detainer, by holding over such lands, tenements or other real possessions after the term for which they were demised or let, as such lessor would have if he had not died, or had not granted or assigned such lands, tenements or other real possessions.
534.370 - Form of execution against defendant.
Executions against defendants shall contain a clause of restitution, and, in other respects, conform to the judgment, and may be in the following form:
The state of Missouri, to the sheriff of the county of ______, greeting:Whereas, G H, on the ______ day of ______, 20______, obtained judgment before the undersigned judge for the county of ______, against E F, that the said G H have restitution of (here insert a description of the premises, as in the complaint, if the verdict be for the whole, or as in the verdict, if it be for a part), and that he recover of the said E F the sum of ______ dollars for his damages, and also at the rate of ______ dollars per month for rents and profits, from the ______ day of ______, 20______, until restitution be made, together with costs:You are, therefore, commanded to take with you the power of the county, if necessary, and to cause the said E F to be forthwith removed from the said premises, and the said G H to have peaceable possession thereof; and that of the goods and chattels of the said E F you cause to be levied the damages, rents and profits aforesaid, with the sum of ______ dollars for costs and ______ for this writ and your fees hereon, and that you return this writ, with your doings thereon, to the undersigned within twenty days from the date hereof. Given under my hand this ______ day of ______, 20______
A B, Judge.
534.170 - Amendments permitted and new parties added, when.
Any judge may, in open court and at any time, in furtherance of justice and on such terms as may be proper, on motion of either party, allow any complaint, summons, writ or other proceeding to be amended and permit new parties as coplaintiffs or codefendants to be added and correct a mistake in the name of either party.
534.070 - Complaint and summons — court date assigned, when.
1.When complaint to the circuit court of the proper county shall be made in writing, signed by the party aggrieved, his agent or attorney, and sworn to, specifying the lands, tenements or other possessions so forcibly entered and detained, or unlawfully detained, and by whom and when done, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court to issue a summons directed to the sheriff or proper officer of the county, commanding him to summon the person against whom the complaint shall have been made to appear, at a day in such summons to be specified.
2.A court date shall be assigned at the time the summons is issued.The court date shall be for a day certain which is not more than twenty-one business days from the date the summons is issued unless, at the time the case is filed, the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney consents in writing to a later date.
534.570 - Appeals to supreme court — supersedeas.
No appeal to the appellate or supreme court shall operate as a stay of execution, nor shall any supersedeas be awarded to the party in possession, unless the condition of the recognizance contain the substance of the condition prescribed by this chapter in cases of appeals by a defendant, and the penalty and security be sufficient to secure the performance thereof.
534.260 - Heirs, devisees entitled to what remedies.
Heirs, devisees, grantees and assigns of any lands, tenements or other real possessions, and executors and administrators in charge of lands of deceased persons, shall be entitled to the same remedies against persons guilty of forcible entry and detainer or unlawful detainer of such lands, tenements or other real possessions, before the descent, devise, grant or assignment thereof, or the granting of letters, as the ancestor, devisor, grantor, assignor or intestate was entitled to by virtue of this chapter.
534.060 - Before whom cognizable — centralized filing — assignment of cases.
Forcible entries and detainers, and unlawful detainers, may be heard and determined by any associate circuit judge of the county in which they are committed.Neither the provisions of this section or any other section in this chapter shall preclude adoption of a local circuit court rule providing for the centralized filing of such cases, nor the assignment of such cases to particular associate circuit or circuit judges pursuant to local circuit court rule or action by the presiding judge of the circuit.Such cases shall be heard and determined by associate circuit judges unless a circuit judge is transferred or assigned to hear such case or cases or unless the plaintiff pursuant to subsection 2 of section 478.250 has designated the case as one to be heard under the practice and procedure applicable before circuit judges.All cases under this chapter shall be heard on the record.Unless the plaintiff under subsection 2 of section 478.250 has designated the case as one to be heard under the practice and procedure applicable before circuit judges, to the extent practice and procedure are not provided in this chapter the practice and procedure provided in chapter 517 shall apply.If the plaintiff under subsection 2 of section 478.250 has designated the case as one to be heard under the practice and procedure applicable before circuit judges, the case shall be heard and determined under the rules of practice and procedure provided in the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure instead of those contained in chapter 517, notwithstanding the specific references to chapter 517 in this chapter.
534.160 - Demand for trial by jury.
Either party shall have the right to a jury trial if a timely request therefor is made as in other civil cases.
534.347 - Unauthorized sublessor or assignor of leased premises, double damages, when.
In any action against any tenant to recover rent, or possession of any premises pursuant to chapter 534 or 535, if it appears from the evidence that such tenant allowed another person or persons to come into sole possession of any lands or tenements under or by collusion with such tenant and without the permission of the landlord, the court may, in addition to the rent due, allow the prevailing party damages not to exceed twice the amount of the rent due.Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the landlord's ability to recover attorney's fees, other expenses or damages, or to pursue other remedies provided in the lease.
534.080 - Form of summons.
The summons shall be endorsed on or annexed to the complaint, and may be in the following form:
The state of Missouri, to the sheriff of the county of ______, greeting:You are hereby commanded to summon E F, of the county of ______, to appear before the undersigned judge within and for said county, at ______ therein, on the ______ day of ______, at the hour of ______ of the clock in the forenoon, then and there to answer and defend against the complaint of G H, of forcible entry and detainer (or of unlawful detainer, as the case may be), made by the said E F upon the land of the said G H, as by the complaint of the said G H, hereto annexed, will more fully appear, and have you then and there this writ, with the return of your proceedings thereon.
Given under my hand this ______ day of ______, 20______
A B, Judge.
534.180 - Depositions may be taken.
Depositions may be taken to be read on trial of any such cause in the same manner as in causes before circuit judges.
534.380 - Judgment stay for appeals.
Applications for appeals shall be allowed and conducted in the manner provided as in other civil cases.Application for appeal shall not stay execution for restitution of the premises unless the defendant gives bond within the time for appeal.The bond shall be for the amount of the judgment and with the condition to stay waste and to pay all subsequently accruing rent, if any, into court within ten days after it becomes due, pending determination of the appeal, subject to the judge's discretion.However, in any case in which the defendant receives a reduction in rent due to a local, state or federal subsidy program, the amount of the bond shall be reduced by the amount of said subsidy.Execution other than for restitution shall be stayed if the defendant files a bond in the proper amount at such time as otherwise provided by law.
534.280 - Effect of forfeiture of lease.
The determination of any lease by forfeiture shall, within the purview of this chapter, have the same effect as if the term thereby created had expired.
534.590 - Writs of restitution, against whom executed.
The officer having charge of a writ of restitution or rerestitution, or execution with a clause to that effect, shall have power to expel and remove from the premises mentioned and defendant therein named, his servants and others under his control, and all other persons who shall have entered thereon after the commencement of the suit otherwise than by process of law, and to deliver to the plaintiff possession thereof.
534.190 - When depositions may be read.
Every such deposition taken and returned according to law may be read if competent and relevant, as evidence in the cause in the same manner and under the same circumstances as in the trial of civil causes before circuit judges.
534.090 - Serving of summons — service by mail — publication of notice.
1.Such summons shall be served as in other civil cases at least four days before the court date specified in such summons.
2.If the summons in such action cannot be served in the ordinary manner as provided by law, it shall be the duty of the judge before whom the proceeding is commenced, at the request of the plaintiff, to make an order directing that notices shall be set up for ten days on the premises in question and in one public place in the county where the defendant was believed to dwell, informing the defendant of the commencement of the proceedings against the defendant and to make an order directing that a copy of the summons be delivered to the defendant at the defendant's last known address by ordinary mail.If the officer, or other person empowered to execute the summons, shall return that the defendant is not found, or that the defendant has absconded or vacated his or her usual place of abode in this state, and if proof be made by affidavit of the posting and of the mailing of a copy of the summons and complaint, the judge shall proceed to hear the case as if there had been personal service, and judgment shall be rendered and proceedings had as in other cases, except that where the defendant is in default no money judgment shall be granted the plaintiff under the order of publication and ordinary mail procedure set forth in this section.If such summons is returned executed, then the judge shall set the case on the next available court date.
534.290 - New tenant may maintain action, when.
Where the action of unlawful detainer is brought by a landlord against his tenant holding over after the termination of the tenancy, it shall be no defense to show that the plaintiff, before such termination, has let the premises to another person; and in case of such new letting, the new tenant after demand made in writing requiring the delivery of possession of such premises and setting forth his title, if the possession be refused, may maintain an action of unlawful detainer against the tenant holding over, if there be no such action by the landlord pending.