2016 Arkansas Code
Title 18 - Property
Subtitle 5 - Civil Actions
Chapter 60 - Miscellaneous Proceedings Relating to Property
Subchapter 3 - -- Forcible Entry and Detainer -- Unlawful Detainer
§ 18-60-307. Proceedings in court
(a) When any person to whom any cause of action shall accrue under this subchapter shall file in the office of the clerk of the court a complaint signed by him or her, his or her agent or attorney, specifying the lands, tenements, or other possessions so forcibly entered and detained, or so unlawfully detained over, and by whom and when done, and shall also file the affidavit of himself or herself or some other credible person for him or her, stating that the plaintiff is lawfully entitled to the possession of the lands, tenements, or other possessions mentioned in the complaint and that the defendant forcibly entered upon and detained them or unlawfully detains them, after lawful demand therefor made in the manner described in this subchapter, the clerk of the court shall thereupon issue a summons upon the complaint. The summons shall be in customary form directed to the sheriff of the county in which the cause of action is filed, with direction for service thereof on the named defendants. In addition, he or she shall issue and direct the sheriff to serve upon the named defendants a notice in the following form:
"NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ISSUE WRIT OF POSSESSION
(b) If, within five (5) days, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, following service of this summons, complaint, and notice seeking a writ of possession against the defendants named therein, the defendant or defendants have not filed a written objection to the claim for possession made by the plaintiff in his or her complaint, the clerk of the court shall immediately issue a writ of possession directed to the sheriff commanding him or her to cause the possession of the property described in the complaint to be delivered to the plaintiff without delay, which the sheriff shall thereupon execute in the manner described in § 18-60-310.
(c) (1) If a written objection to the claim of the plaintiff for a writ of possession shall be filed by the defendant or defendants within five (5) days from the date of service of the notice, summons, and complaint as provided for in this section, the plaintiff shall obtain a date for the hearing of the plaintiff's demand for possession of the property described in the complaint at any time thereafter when the matter may be heard by the court and shall give notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing by certified mail, postage prepaid, either to the defendant or to his or her or their counsel of record.
(2) If the defendant continues to possess the property described in the plaintiff's complaint during the pendency of the proceedings under this subchapter, the defendant is required to deposit into the registry of the court at the time of filing the written objection a sum equal to the amount of rent due on the property and continue paying rent into the registry of the court in accordance with the written or verbal rental agreement.
(3) The failure of the defendant to deposit into the registry of the court the rent due or any rent subsequently due during the pendency of the proceeding under this subchapter without justification is grounds for the court to grant the writ of possession.
(d) (1) (A) If a hearing is required to be held on the demand of the plaintiff for an immediate writ of possession, the plaintiff shall there present evidence sufficient to make a prima facie case of entitlement to possession of the property described in the complaint. The defendant or defendants shall be entitled to present evidence in rebuttal thereof.
(B) (i) If the court decides upon all the evidence that the plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits at a full hearing and if the plaintiff provides adequate security as determined by the court, then the court shall order the clerk forthwith to issue a writ of possession to the sheriff to place the plaintiff in possession of the property described in the complaint, subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section.
(ii) No such action by the court shall be final adjudication of the parties' rights in the action.
(2) A plaintiff demanding an immediate writ of possession who is a housing authority and who claims in its complaint that the defendant or defendants are being asked to surrender possession as a result of the defendant or defendants having been convicted of a criminal violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, § 5-64-101 et seq., shall be entitled to receive an expedited hearing before the court within ten (10) days of the filing of the objection by the defendant or defendants.
(e) If the defendant desires to retain possession of the property, the court shall allow the retention upon the defendant's providing, within five (5) days of issuance of the writ of possession, adequate security as determined by the court.
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