Mississippi Eviction Process
November 2, 2023
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Eviction In Mississippi
If you own and rent properties in the state of Mississippi, you are responsible for complying with Mississippi eviction laws. In this article, we break down each step of the legal eviction process in Mississippi.
Mississippi’s eviction laws can be found at Miss. Code § 89-8-31 to 89-8-45 and § 11-25-1 to 11-25-119.
Eviction Process in Mississippi
- Landlord serves a zero- to 14-day eviction notice.
- Landlord files an eviction lawsuit with the court.
- Court serves tenant a summons.
- Landlord and tenant attend court hearing and receive judgment.
- Tenant gets seven days to move out.
- Court issues a warrant of removal and sheriff arrives to forcibly remove the tenant.
In Mississippi, tenants can be evicted for failing to pay rent, violating the rental agreement, failing to fulfill their obligations as per the law, or holding over after the lease expires (Miss. Code § 89-8-31).
1. Landlord Serves a Zero- to 14-Day Eviction Notice
If any of the above lease violations occur, the landlord must first serve a Mississippi eviction notice and state that the tenant has the appropriate number of days to remedy or cure the violation. There are three possibilities for a Mississippi eviction notice:
- Rent Demand Notice: 3 days to pay or quit. If rent is unpaid when due, the landlord must deliver this Mississippi 3 day eviction notice stating the amount of unpaid rent required to remedy the breach and the date on which the lease will terminate if it is not paid (not less than three days after receipt of the notice) (Miss. Code § 89-8-13(5)).
- Lease Violation Notice: 14 days to cure or quit. If a tenant violates another lease term, the landlord must deliver this Mississippi eviction notice stating the breach and what is required to remedy it, as well as the date on which the lease will terminate if the tenant does not cure the breach (not less than 14 days after receipt of the notice) (Miss. Code § 89-8-13(3)).
- Repeat Lease Violation Notice: 14 days to quit. If the tenant commits a second violation within six months of the first, the landlord may serve a 14-day quit notice with no opportunity to cure the violation (Miss. Code § 89-8-13(3)).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: Immediate. According to Mississippi state law, landlords are not required to send a Mississippi eviction notice or provide opportunity to cure before terminating a tenancy when the tenant has committed a substantial violation of the rental agreement or the law that materially affects health or safety (Miss. Code § 89-8-19(4)).
For all evictions, the landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees. Note that for holdover tenants who refuse to vacate the premises after the lease has expired, the landlord may charge double the rent for the time the tenant continues in possession (Miss. Code § 89-8-45).
2. Landlord Files an Eviction Lawsuit with the Court
The next step in the Mississippi eviction process is filing the complaint with the court. If the tenant has not cured the breach by the end of the notice period (or if the violation is uncurable and the notice period expires), the landlord can then file an eviction complaint (the eviction lawsuit) in Mississippi County or Justice Court in the county where the property is located. The specific complaint form required varies depending on the county and court.
The landlord should bring and file the following with the court as per Miss. Code § 89-8-33:
- The complaint for eviction, stating the facts of the tenant’s breach, the address of the property, and the amount of any rent and fees owed
- A copy of the written notice of breach delivered to the tenant
- A copy of the written eviction/termination notice
The landlord will also need to pay a filing fee, which varies by court and county.
3. Court Serves Tenant a Summons
After the Mississippi eviction lawsuit is filed, the court will issue a summons to be served to the tenant with a copy of the complaint. The summons will command the tenant to either move out immediately or attend the eviction hearing to explain why they shouldn’t be evicted. The summons will also include a statement provided by Miss. Code § 89-8-35(2) explaining that:
- If the landlord is granted possession by the court, the tenant will have seven days to move out
- The tenant can stop the eviction by paying all due rent and fees (in cases of nonpayment)
- If the tenant leaves personal property behind, the landlord may dispose of it
- If the tenant refuses to move out, the sheriff will forcibly remove them, and the tenant will have 72 hours to remove their belongings.
The summons must be served in a specific way. It can be served by any person at least 18 years old who is not a party in the lawsuit, but it is typically served by the sheriff or process server (the landlord will need to pay the sheriff a reasonable fee). It should be served in one of the following manners as per Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4:
- Personal delivery to the tenant
- Personal delivery to a family member of sufficient age, AND first-class mail
- If all other methods fail, by publishing a copy in a local paper/courthouse door
- For nonpayment cases, posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the premises
Service of the summons and complaint must be made within 120 days after the complaint was filed (Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedures, Rule 4(h)). In order to have a sheriff serve the summons, the landlord will need to pay a fee of $45 (Miss. Code § 25-7-19(1)(a)).
At the request of either the landlord or tenant, the court can delay the eviction hearing. The hearing might be delayed, for instance, to ensure sufficient time to issue subpoenas and locate witnesses. However, Mississippi eviction law dictates that an adjournment should not be longer than ten days except with consent from both parties, and no longer than thirty days total (Miss. Code § 89-8-41).
4. Landlord and Tenant Attend Court Hearing and Receive Judgment
Mississippi eviction hearings must be held at least five days after the date the summons was issued (Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedures, Rule 4).
On the day of the eviction hearing, the landlord should bring copies of the lease agreement, the eviction notice with proof of service, the complaint, and any evidence of the lease violation. Both the landlord and tenant will present their cases and any evidence to the judge, who will afterwards issue the judgment.
The judgment will be awarded to the landlord if the judge finds that tenant failed to present a valid defense or counterclaim and the landlord complied with all other requirements. The landlord will also be granted a default judgment if the tenant does not attend the hearing, as long as the landlord are compliant with all other laws and procedures (Miss. Code § 89-8-37).
5. Tenant Gets Seven Days to Move Out
After the judgment is entered, the court will order the tenant to vacate the premises within seven days. There are a few exceptions: The order to vacate may be shorter than seven days if the tenant has committed a substantial violation of the lease that materially affects health and safety or poses an immediate and significant risk of damage, harm, or injury (Miss. Code § 89-8-39(1)).
6. Court Issues Warrant of Removal and Sheriff Arrives to Forcibly Remove the Tenant
The tenant must move out by the court-ordered move-out date (typically seven days after the judgment). If they do not move out, the landlord may request a warrant for removal from the court. The warrant will be immediately issued to the sheriff or constable of the county, who will forcibly remove the tenant and restore possession of the property to the landlord (Miss. Code § 89-8-39(2)). The fee to have the sheriff serve a copy of the warrant to the tenant is $45 (Miss. Code § 25-7-19(1)(a)).
Note that for nonpayment cases, the tenant can still stop the eviction by paying all unpaid rent and other costs by the court-ordered move-out date. The landlord is obligated to accept payment until that date (Miss. Code § 89-8-39(4)).
Once the warrant has been executed and the tenant removed, the tenant is allowed 72 hours to access the premises and remove any remaining belongings by Mississippi eviction laws. If any personal property remains after the 72 hours, the landlord may dispose of it without further notice (Miss. Code § 89-8-39(3)).
Evicting a Squatter in Mississippi
A squatter is a person who moves into a vacant or abandoned property without getting permission from the owner or paying rent. Squatters can usually be charged as criminal trespassers and be evicted like any other tenant. However, some squatters can receive the right to possession by meeting certain state-determined criteria. In Mississippi, squatters must have lived in the property for ten consecutive years and paid property taxes for at least two years to invoke squatters rights in Mississippi and claim right of possession (Miss. Code § 15-1-13, 15-1-15). Their occupation must also be:
- Hostile/Adverse—The squatter must not have a valid lease with the owner
- Actual—The squatter must be actively residing on the property
- Open and Notorious—The squatter is openly and obviously living there.
- Exclusive—The squatter does not share possession of the property with anyone else.
- Continuous—The squatter must hold continuous and uninterrupted possession.
While relatively rare, if a squatter meets all these criteria, they have “color of title”: the right of legal ownership without having a written deed to the property. They can file an action for adverse possession in Mississippi to legally obtain the title to the property. However, in most cases, a squatter will not meet the criteria and can be removed. If you think a squatter is living in your vacant property in Mississippi, you should:
- Call local law enforcement.
- Determine whether the person is a trespasser or a squatter.
- If the person is a trespasser, they can be removed immediately by a police officer.
- If the person is a squatter, you must contact the sheriff’s office.
- Send the squatter an eviction notice as per Mississippi eviction laws.
- If the squatter does not vacate the premises by the end of the notice period, file for eviction and follow the typical eviction process.
- Only the sheriff can physically remove a squatter from your property. You cannot do so, and neither can a police officer.
Mississippi Eviction Cost Estimates
This chart shows estimates of the approximate cost of an eviction in Mississippi, according to civil procedure in the state, Mississippi eviction laws, and iPropertyManagement. A highly accurate estimate of an eviction is impossible to provide, as cases and circumstances vary so widely. Remember to factor in other losses due to an eviction as well, such as lost rent, time, and stress.
|Filing fee||Varies by court|
|Service of court summons||$45|
|Issuance of Warrant for Removal||Varies by court|
|Service of Warrant for Removal||$45|
|Average locksmith fees||$160|
|Storage fees for abandoned property||Varies|
|Tenant turnover costs||Varies|
Mississippi Eviction Time Estimates
The chart below shows an estimate of the duration of each part of the eviction process. Keep in mind that the length of eviction cases varies widely depending on the complexity of the eviction, the court’s current caseload, and whether or not the tenant contests or appeals the lawsuit.
|Eviction notice period||0-14 days|
|Service of summons and complaint||Within 120 days after filing|
|Maximum continuance||10-30 days|
|Eviction hearing||At least 5 days after service of summons|
|Issuance, service of warrant for removal / move-out period||7 days|
|Time to quit after warrant is issued||Unspecified|
|Time to retrieve personal property after eviction||72 hours|
- Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure – This document includes the specific rules of civil procedure and court policies in Mississippi.
The eviction process in any state can be long and complex, so hiring an eviction attorney is advised in most cases. It’s also important to note that municipalities and local governments often have stricter laws and requirements for landlords, so be sure to check local statutes as well as state ones. However, by reviewing the legal procedures and Mississippi laws on eviction, you can feel more confident pursuing an eviction in this state.
Innago does not provide legal advice. The content and materials provided in this article are for general informational purposes only and may not be the most up-to-date information.