Unlawful Detainers and Evictions

Unlawful Detainer

Minnesota landlords cannot, at any time, forcibly remove tenants. To evict a tenant, a landlord must first bring a Summons and Complaints Unlawful Detainer action against the tenant.

An Unlawful Detainer is used when a landlord or property owner is attempting to terminate tenancy and have the property vacated. This usually occurs when rent is overdue or a foreclosure or cancellation proceeding has been completed and the occupant refuses to leave the premises.

To file for an Unlawful Detainer action, contact:
Washington County Court Administration
14949 62nd St. N.,
Stillwater, MN 55082
Telephone: 651-430-6268

After the complaint has been filed, Court Administration will issue a summons containing a court date. This summons may be taken to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division for service.

Writ of Recovery - Order to Vacate

This is a writ and order issued after the plaintiff has won a judgment in an Unlawful Detainer. (Minnesota Statute 504B.361 and 504B.365). It empowers the Sheriff’s Office to remove the defendants and restore possession of the premises to the plaintiff (Minnesota Statute 504B365, subd. 1). The Writ of Recovery must be taken to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division for service.


After the Writ of Recovery is served, the plaintiff should contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division to schedule a date and time to conduct the eviction.

At the time of the eviction, the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s representative must be present. The plaintiff or plaintiff’s representative will be required to conduct a written inventory of items left at the premises and present a copy to the deputy on site.

Landlord vs. Tenant Dispute

A landlord must lawfully pursue an eviction through the courts in order to force the eviction of tenants. This is true even if the tenants do not have a lease.

A landlord, who intentionally locks out a tenant, removes doors or windows, turns off the gas, electric or water without following this process, may be charged with the misdemeanor of “Unlawful Ouster” (Minnesota Statute 504B.225 and Minnesota Statute 609.606).