What do I need to take to court?
Before your court date you should make sure you have everything you need ready and organized
- An Affidavit of Service for each party you served AND return receipts from USPS
- All Court Paperwork you filed with the court to begin this case
- Clear Photos and Evidence of all the problems in your apartment
- Any Additional Evidence you have relating to the case (for example, heat log, audio or video recordings of landlord harassment, harassing letters from the landlord, dead bedbugs on tape)
- Copies of Communication, letters, or emails between you and your landlord relating to your apartment’s conditions
What happens when I arrive at court?
1. Go through security
You might have to wait a long time in line so try to arrive at court 30 minutes early.
2. Go to the courtroom
In housing court, the courtroom is called a “part”. Go to the part where your case is scheduled and check in.
- Outside the courtroom there will be a list of all the cases for that day. Look for your case and take down which number it is.
- Go inside the courtroom and speak to the court officer or clerk to check in. Tell them that you are the tenant and your case number.
- Give the court officer or clerk your affidavits of service and ask that they put them in the court file for your case.
- Ask the court officer or clerk for a copy of the HPD inspection report if your case is about repairs.
3. Wait for the judge
The judge will call you to come up for your case
While you wait for the judge to call your case...
The HPD attorney or court attorney might ask to speak to you and the landlord's attorney
Remember, the landlord’s attorney represents the landlord and the HPD’s attorney represents the city.
The court attorney is a lawyer who works for the judge to help move cases through the court system more quickly.
You will all discuss whether there is a way to resolve (or "settle") your case.
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