Evictions in Chicago are taking longer than ever before – five or six months, at the earliest.

If negotiating with your tenant hasn’t been fruitful, you should consider beginning the eviction process immediately. Starting the process shouldn’t keep you from continuing to try and negotiate an amicable termination of the tenancy – in fact, in some cases, filing an eviction helps push negotiations forward.

If you do decide it is time to file an eviction, you can use this general timeline as a guide:

  • Properly serving Notices on Tenants takes time, especially if the Tenants are not around or are avoiding service.
  • Once the Notice(s) is properly served, an eviction can be filed. From the date of filing, the return dates (first day in court) will be between six and eight weeks.
  • The Sheriff will make one or two attempts to serve the Tenant in the six to eight weeks before your return date. If the Sheriff fails to make service, you’ll need to hire a Special Process Server. This adds another 30 days or more to see if the Process Server can complete service.
  • Once you have service, there is a mandatory Early Resolution Program (ERP) to help parties resolve disputes. The ERP was recently extended from 14 days to 28 days, and cannot be waived by the Landlord.
  • After ERP is finished, and the parties have been unable to come to an agreement, it will be a minimum of two weeks for the case to be transferred to a contested courtroom.
  • Once in a contested courtroom, it will take at least two to three weeks to set the case for prove-up/bench trial – longer if the Tenant requests time to answer the complaint, and/or files a jury demand.
  • Once you are granted an order of eviction by the court, you’ll have to wait two weeks before giving that order to the Sheriff. From there, it will likely take the Sheriff another two to four weeks to enforce that order.

If you have questions about evictions and the best way for you to move forward, Erwin Law can help.  For 30 years, we’ve been focused on guiding our clients through the varied, complicated, and ever-changing laws and landlord regulations in Chicago and Cook County. For a free consultation, call Ezekial McDonald-Lewis at 773-525-0153 or email him at: emcdonald-lewis@erwinlawfirm.com.