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Connecticut Evictions: Obtaining Judgment By Default

The notice to quit has been properly drafted and served. The complaint is both proper and has been served both properly on the tenant. The tenant has failed to appear after the return date and you are ready to file a motion for judgment by default for failing to appear.

Not so fast, how can you prove your tenant is not in active military service? To obtain judgment by default for failure to appear a landlord must be able to satisfy the court that a tenant is not on active military duty through a sworn affidavit.

I hear landlords say that Connecticut landlord/tenant law is stacked against them.  In some respects, landlords are correct that housing law is complicated and can be extremely frustrating to a landlord who needs to evict a tenant. That all being said, the result of an eviction proceeding is often a tenant being evicted – the sole issue in most eviction proceedings is when the tenant will vacate.

Delays in an eviction proceeding almost always hurts landlords and perhaps nothing is more frustrating when a tenant fails to appear despite being served with a notice to quit and writ, summons and complaint and the landlord can’t get judgment by default because the court will not accept the sufficiency of the landlord’s affidavit that the tenant is not in military service.

I’ve had tenants served in hand and landlords swear under oath that a tenant works at a certain place and the landlord has spoken to the tenant within the past week only to be denied as insufficient for a motion for default to enter.

My advice is to contact an attorney to review your lease and your lease application to help solve this problem prior to you having to start an eviction proceeding.