Can I hire an attorney to evict my tenant (3-day notice is over) even though I'm out of the Country? I'm concerned if the tenant answers and we get a trial that I will have to fly back to the USA to testify. Would I have to testify or can my lawyer handle the eviction trial without me? Like can't I just sign an affidavit about the unpaid bills?
4 Answers from Attorneys
Sure you can. Call a landlord/tenant attorney and follow their instructions. I also am a landlord, and seldom appear on UD actions because my UD attorney appears for me. Obviously you will need to provide the lease and proof of breach to move forward.
Depending the reasons for eviction and the defenses, you may not be needed at all.
A party to a civil lawsuit is not required to attend trial unless the party has been subpoenaed or served with a notice to attend trial by the other side. Whether it is tactically wise not to appear is a matter to be worked out between the party and his attorney.
I can tell some of the attorneys on here don't try cases. I do try cases, and have even tried a jury trial in an eviction case. If the tenant does not answer, some courts will want the landlord or the landlord's agent to testify at what is known as a default prove up. If the tenant does answer, and it goes to a trial, someone will have to testify to present the landlord's case. If there is a settlement agreement, it is not enforceable by way of motion unless it is signed by the party or the parties agree to it on the record.
So the short answer is yeah, you may have to be there. If you want more information, feel free to send me a private e-mail.