MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – After more than a year of not being allowed to evict anyone during the pandemic, the court process can officially start again. That’s because the moratorium expired over the weekend, but it’s not an easy process.
“It’s not like they’re going to come out and evict you tomorrow, or anything like that. There’s court proceedings that have to be done, there’s judges orders that have to be followed,” Scott Flannery, a Sergeant with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, said.
When it comes down to it, sheriff’s deputies are the only ones who can enforce an eviction. That’s after at least 2 notices from landlords and judges.
“It’s not the sheriff’s office that’s doing the eviction. The court has deemed the eviction is the proper process, the landlord has went in front of the judge at least 3 times, that person has had the opportunity to stand in front of a judge at least 3 times. We’re just the final one to enforce it,” he said.
Flannery said before the pause, they would see about 2 or 3 evictions a week. He said he’s sure that will go up in the next few weeks as this process plays out.
The Macon County Circuit Clerk said since the start of the year, they’ve seen more than 200 evictions filed.
Tenants will get a 5 day notice from their landlords telling them they need to either pay or quit their contract. If nothing happens after those 5 days, the landlord will go in front of a judge and present the case. Flannery said the judge will give them 30 days to pay or get out. If nothing happens still, that’s when the eviction can be forced.
Flannery said the best thing to do is talk to your landlord before it escalates to the point where they need a deputy.
“Most landlords are pretty tolerant for the most part, you know, get your stuff, and we’ll stand by for that to happen, but after about an hour or so we kind of have to push the process up a little bit. It’s a time consuming effort,” he said. “When you get your 30 day notice, well when you get your 5 day notice from your landlord, start talking to them to find out what you can do to make payments. Can you go half this month, half next month. You know, do what you can to make arrangements with your land lord directly.”
Hearings for evictions started in court today. Flannery said the whole process can take up to 60 days before you’re actually evicted.