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Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Office
Circuit Courthouse
7 Church Circle
Annapolis, MD  21401

 

 

Anne Arundel County's Sheriffs Office  
 
 

 

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Landlord - Tenant Matters

The Sheriff's Office has historically been involved in property foreclosure matters emanating from the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. With the dissolution of the District Court constabulary in 1996, the Sheriff assumed sole enforcement of all landlord-tenant legal process in Anne Arundel County. Sheriff’s Office involvement in landlord-tenant relations typically involves the service of summons prior to hearings on disputes and the execution of evictions. Situations encountered entail delinquent or late rent, lease violations, tenants refusing to vacate, and mortgage foreclosures.

Overview of the Court Process

Mortgage Foreclosures: Once a judgment has been awarded a mortgage company or other plaintiff, application may be made to the Circuit Court for a writ of possession. This document will authorize the Sheriff to conduct an eviction and return said property to plaintiff or mortgage company.

Delinquent or Late Rent: Landlord files in District Court anytime after the rent due date a Failure to Pay Rent - Landlord’s Complaint for Repossession of Rented Property. Sheriff’s fee is $5 per tenant. Hearing held approximately 7 days later. Sheriff mails copy of hearing notice to tenant and personally delivers a copy to the residence in question. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, judgment will be entered against the tenant. If the tenant still has not vacated the residence on the fifth day after the judgment, the landlord may apply for a warrant of restitution. Sheriff’s fee is $40. If this is issued, the Sheriff is authorized to conduct an eviction.

Lease Violation: Landlord files in District Court a breach of lease. Sheriff’s fee is $40. Hearing held seven days later. Sheriff mails copy of hearing notice to tenant and personally delivers a copy to the residence in question. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, judgment will be entered against the tenant. If the tenant still has not vacated the residence on the fifth day after the judgment, the landlord may apply for a warrant of restitution. Sheriff’s fee is $40. If this is issued, the Sheriff is authorized to conduct an eviction.

Tenant Refuses to Leave: (i.e., tenant holding over for any other reason not addressed above) Landlord files in District Court a forcible entry and detainer. Sheriff’s fee is $40. Hearing held approximately 7 days later. Sheriff mails copy of hearing notice to tenant and personally delivers a copy to the residence in question. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, judgment will be entered against the tenant. If the tenant still has not vacated the residence on the fifth day after the judgment, the landlord may apply for a warrant of restitution. Sheriff’s fee is $40. If this is issued, the Sheriff is authorized to conduct an eviction.

Overview of Evictions: A warrant of restitution or writ of possession is generally valid for 60 days from date of issue. The document may be executed anytime within the window. Sheriff’s Office practice is to initiate efforts to contact a landlord or other plaintiff within 7 days of receipt of an eviction in order to schedule a mutually agreeable date and time for displacing the tenant and his/her property. Practice is also to conduct evictions during hours of the court so that anomalies that arise immediately proceeding or incident to an eviction may be addressed.

An eviction is only legal if a deputy sheriff is present, and that officer’s sole responsibility is to keep the peace. A landlord is responsible for providing an adequate number of movers and exercising reasonable care in removing a tenant’s property from a location. Under most circumstances, if a landlord has failed to provide enough movers to conclude an eviction within 2 hours, the eviction will be rescheduled.

A tenant is usually permitted to remain on scene until all property is removed so long as he/she is not hindering the activities. All personal property except that which may pose a public safety threat is to be placed on the curb of the nearest public roadway and once there it is the tenant’s responsibility to safeguard the property. Once the eviction is completed, the removal of any unclaimed or abandoned property becomes the landlord’s responsibility. In accordance with Article 13, Section 1-106 of the Anne Arundel County Code, failure to remove a tenant's evicted property from a County right-of-way within 48 hours will result in removal by the County Department of Public Works. The Department of Public Works may remove and dispose of all personal property that is on county property in violation of existing County Code. The County will bill the owner of the rental real property for all costs incurred in connection with the removal and disposal of the evicted tenant's personal property. Landlord-tenant matters are handled by the Civil Process Unit of the Sheriff’s Office. The preceding is merely an overview of Sheriff’s Office policy and practice. Specific questions or concerns can be fielded by the civil process staff at (410) 222-1189 during normal business hours.

Of Related Interest:

Maryland page of Rental Housing: http://rhol.org/


Anne Arundel County, MD. 44 Calvert Street Annapolis, MD. 21401 | Telephone: (410) 222-7000 | Suggestions | Disclaimer

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