Retaking of Property Following Arrest

Retaking of Property Following Arrest

When an owner or someone else discovers an unlawful occupant, the owner or a third person can call law enforcement to report the situation. Law enforcement will investigate and might make an arrest if law enforcement finds probable cause that the occupant is guilty of housebreaking or unlawful occupancy. If law enforcement makes an arrest, and the property is completely vacant--meaning all the people living there were either arrested or taken into state custody--then the owner can retake the property following arrest.

CAUTION! In order to move forward with the retaking, the owner must make sure that the property is entirely vacant! This means that the adults living in the property were arrested and all the kids were placed in State custody.

Following arrest, and when the property is completely vacant, an owner can retake possession of the property by changing the locks or retaking possession in some other way. Once the owner does that, the owner posts a Notice of Retaking Possession and/or Changing of Locks on the property and leaves that Notice posted for 21 days.

NOTICE OF RETAKING POSSESSION AND/OR CHANGING OF LOCKS

PDF nonfillable Word fillable PDF fillable

Within 24 hours of posting the Notice of Retaking Possession and/or Changing of Locks, the owner should fill out a Statement Regarding Retaking Possession and/or Changing of Locks & Submission of Posted Notice, attach the Notice, and file those documents with the Justice Court of the township where the property is located.

OWNER'S STATEMENT REGARDING RETAKING POSSESSION AND/OR CHANGING OF LOCKS

PDF nonfillable Word fillable PDF fillable

If the occupant wants to get back onto the property after the owner retakes possession, the occupant can file a Verified Complaint for Reentry within 21 days of the date the owner retook possession of the property or changed the locks. The Verified Complaint must be served on the owner at the address that the owner provided on the Statement Regarding Retaking Possession and/or Changing of Locks. No later than 10 days after filing the Verified Complaint, the court will schedule a trial.

OCCUPANT'S VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR REENTRY FOLLOWING ARREST

PDF nonfillable Word fillable PDF fillable

If the occupant loses at trial, the occupant cannot access the property. Trying to reenter, or reentering, is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. The occupant may also appeal the justice court's decision to the district court. See Removal Appeals for more information.

If the occupant wins at trial, the court will issue a Writ of Restitution, giving possession back to the occupant.

The flowchart below shows how the retaking of property following arrest works. To download the flowchart, click the link below.

Flowchart--Retaking of Property Following Arrest

post arrest removal flowchart