A tenant who received the "Summons and Complaints" from the court may stop the sheriff eviction by filing a response to the lawsuit. Depending on the state, the tenant may have five days to respond if the summons is served directly and about 15 days if it is sub-served.
The Summons and Complaints lawsuit indicates that an eviction process against the tenant has commenced. Most of the time, the eviction lawsuit is served without being filed in court. The tenant can choose to settle the case out of court to stop the eviction and also to prevent an eviction record.
If the lawsuit has already been filed, the tenant must respond to the summons and ask the judge to have your side of the story be heard. The response should be in proper legal form and filed within the allotted deadline. A tenant who decides to file a response may also require the services of a lawyer to obtain advice on how to respond to the lawsuit.
If the judge grants the eviction, the tenant may request to stay the eviction and ask for more time. If the judge agrees to open the case and schedules a hearing, the tenant should get a signed copy of the OSC and serve it to the sheriff and the landlord. Failing to serve the OSC to the sheriff or marshal can cause the eviction to push through.