3.13 Eviction Order

The landlord must prove that the tenancy has been properly terminated in court to obtain a court order granting possession of the property.

At the conclusion of the hearing, if the court finds the tenant is in wrongful occupation of the property, the court will issue an order granting possession of the property to the landlord and may require back rent to be paid as required by the evidence. W.Va. Code §55-3A-3(e).

The tenant has the right to appear in court with or without a lawyer to present evidence in his or her defense. W.Va. Code §55-3A-2. If the tenant fails to answer the landlord’s petition or appear in court after being properly served, the court may grant the landlord’s request for immediate possession of the property and require payment of money as shown by the evidence presented by the landlord. W.Va. Code §55-3A-3(a)

If an order of possession is obtained, the sheriff’s office will assist in enforcing the order if necessary. The order will specify a date and time by which the tenant must remove his or her belongings from the property and vacate the premises. W.Va. Code §55-3A-3(f).

If a magistrate court issues an eviction order, the tenant has 20 days after the court has entered final judgment to appeal the decision to the circuit court if the tenant disagrees with the court decision. However, the tenant can only appeal the monetary amount, not the eviction order itself. WV R MAG CTS RCP Rule 18.

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