Unlawful Detainers

ACT NO. 2006-316 - Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act
Procedures and Guidelines for Filing Unlawful Detainer Actions in the District Court Effective January 1, 2007

Unlawful Detainer Actions are the remedy for eviction in a landlord tenant relationship----Title 6, Code of Alabama. Effective Date: January 1, 2007. Some existing lease provisions remain until lease renews in 2007.

WHO MAY FILE ACTIONS: Individuals representing themselves or an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Alabama.

JURISDICTION: District Court and Circuit Court have concurrent jurisdiction. Actions seeking injunctive relief must be filed in the Circuit Court . Injunctive relief is defined as seeking to obtain an order to either command or prohibit an action.

Rules of Civil Procedure govern.

NOTICE TO TENANT: Seven day notice for failure to pay rent, fourteen day notice for anything else. The purpose of the notice is to terminate tenancy rights. Notice must provide for right to pay any delinquent rents or correct any lease prohibitions also known as the right to cure.

INITIATED BY FILING A COMPLAINT: Form No. C-59. The Landlord/Plaintiff may sue for possession of property and for money damages in the same action. Filing fees apply and will vary, the initial filing fee is $287.00 and $10.00 for each additional defendant. Please include a copy of the “Notice to Tenant” when filing an original action. Counterclaims are allowed by the defendant/tenant, and there is no filing fee for this action in District Court.


Personal service must be attempted for possession complaint. If unable to make personal service, may be served by posting a copy on the premises. Sheriff/process server must also mail a copy of complaint to defendant by first class mail. Tile 6-6-332, Code of Alabama.

Complaint for money must be served in accordance with Rule 4, Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure which requires service by certified mail or personal service by either the Sheriff's office or a private process server.

ANSWER: Seven days to file an answer to complaint for possession of property. Fourteen days to file answer to money claim (if filed in the District Court).

IF NO ANSWER FILED, a default judgment may be obtained by filing a motion for default judgment and paying $50.00 filing fee. A Writ of possession may be e-filed and there is no cost for this action.


APPEALS: If the case is filed in the District Court, the appeal would go to the Circuit Court. Appealed cases must be set in the Circuit Court within 60 days. The time for filing an appeal is seven consecutive days. If the seventh day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, the appeal is due to be filled the first business day thereafter.

Order entered by District Court Judge should set the amount of appeal bond which would be two amounts based on past due rent and accruing rent. If the District Court Judge fails to set a bond before Notice of Appeal to Circuit Court is filed, the Circuit Court Judge will set bond upon filing of a motion.

In order stop the eviction while the appeal is pending, an appeal bond MUST be posted. The bond money is paid to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Affidavit of Substantial Hardship does not waive the posting of this bond to stop the eviction while the appeal is pending. If the tenant does not post a bond, it has no effect on the appeal only on his right to possession of the property.

This instruction sheet is being provided merely for the purpose of instruction as to the procedures of this office and in no way should be construed as advice as to the laws governing unlawful detainers. The clerk cannot give you legal advice, if you need assistance, you should see an attorney.

Forms can be found inside our office or online at Statement of Claim Eviction, Unlawful Detainer