Evictions & Unlawful Detainers


Evictions & Unlawful Detainers:

To start an Eviction action on the occupants of a residence, the property's owner or representative needs to file a Complaint with the Court Administrator at the St. Louis County courthouse, as described in Minn. Stat. §504b.321 Subd.1. The Complaint will summarize why the involved tenant(s)/defendant(s) should be vacated from the residence.

Common reasons for requiring an Eviction:

  • Delinquency in rental payments
  • Violating terms of a lease agreement
  • Failure to vacate after receiving a 30-day notice

Once the Complaint has been filed, the court administrator will establish a court date & time and issue a Summons to accompany the property owner's Complaint. A Summons is notice to the tenant(s)/ defendant(s) that an Eviction has started within the court system, and that a court date has been set.

It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure the combined Eviction Summons & Complaint are served on each tenant.

Service of the Eviction Summons & Complaint by the Sheriff's Office:

Service must be completed by a third-party who is not part of the court action. For a fee, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office can serve these papers. Please reference the Sheriff's Office fee schedule for a list of costs. Personal service (or posting) of these papers must be completed no less than 7 days prior to the court date.

Service of an Eviction Summons & Complaint is a multi-step procedure. First, the Summons & Complaint must be attempted to be served personally – at the property – to each tenant living in the household. Minn. Stat. §504B.331d Subd. 1 is the governing statute which requires that these attempts be made and that they happen on two different dates & times. If, and only if, the Sheriff's Office is successful during these initial attempts, a Certificate of Service will be provided to the requesting party indicating the person(s) served and the date & time service was made. This Certificate must be filed with the Court Administrator by the requesting party. The Sheriff's Office is not responsible for completing the filing.

Posting of the Eviction Summons & Complaint:

Should the initial attempts to personally serve the property's occupants fail, the Sheriff's Office will issue a Certificate of Unserved Process indicating the dates & times service was attempted and the failure of these attempts. 

The requesting party must file this Certificate of Unserved Process together with an Affidavit of Mailing and an Affidavit of Plaintiff with the Court Administrator. The Affidavit of Mailing & the Affidavit of Plaintiff are provided by the Court Administrator. Once these filings are completed, it is the party's responsibility to inform this fact to the Sheriff's Office.

Only after these three Affidavits have been filed with the court is the Sheriff's Office able to Post the Eviction Summons & Complaint in a conspicuous place on the property. Posting must be completed 7 days prior to the court date.

If this step of Posting is required, the Sheriff's Office will post the Eviction Summons & Complaint at the address and issue one final Certificate of Posting, which indicates the posting address and date & time. This Certificate must also be filed with the Court Administrator.  The Sheriff's Office is not responsible for completing the filing.

After the Court Hearing:

If the presiding Judge rules in favor of the property owner at the court hearing, a Writ of Recovery will be authorized. This is a judicial order instructing the Sheriff's Office to remove the tenants from the property, using force if necessary.


For a detailed guide on how the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office serves and processes the removal of unlawful occupants after receiving a Writ of Recovery of Premises, please follow the link below.