How to Evict a Family Member in Alabama

How to Evict a Family Member in Alabama

Evicting a family member from your property can be an emotionally challenging and legally complex process. However, there may be situations where eviction becomes necessary, such as when a family member is causing significant disruption or damage to your property. If you find yourself in such a situation in Alabama, it is essential to understand the eviction laws and procedures specific to the state. In this article, we will guide you through the process of evicting a family member in Alabama and answer some frequently asked questions related to this topic.

1. Understand the legal relationship: The eviction process in Alabama largely depends on the legal relationship between you and the family member you wish to evict. If they are a tenant with a formal lease agreement, you must follow the standard eviction procedures. However, if there is no formal lease agreement, they may be considered an occupant or licensee, and the eviction process may differ.

2. Give notice: Before initiating an eviction, you must provide written notice to the family member. The notice period generally depends on the type of tenancy. For a month-to-month lease, a 30-day notice is usually required. However, if the family member has failed to pay rent, a 7-day notice is sufficient.

3. File an eviction lawsuit: If the family member does not vacate the property within the notice period, you can proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit. You must file a complaint with the district court in the county where the property is located. The court will then issue a summons, and a copy of the complaint must be served to the family member.

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4. Attend the court hearing: Both parties will be notified of the court hearing date. It is crucial to attend the hearing prepared with all necessary documentation, such as the written notice and any evidence supporting your case. If the court rules in your favor, it will issue a writ of possession, allowing you to take back possession of the property.

5. Enforce the eviction: If the family member still refuses to leave after the court ruling, you must hire a sheriff or constable to enforce the eviction. They will serve a notice to vacate, and if the family member still does not comply, they will physically remove them from the property.


1. Can I evict a family member without notice?
No, you must provide written notice before initiating an eviction. The notice period depends on the type of tenancy and can range from 7 to 30 days.

2. Is it necessary to go to court for evicting a family member?
Yes, if the family member refuses to leave after the notice period, you must file an eviction lawsuit. The court will then decide whether or not the eviction is justified.

3. What if the family member pays rent irregularly or not at all?
If the family member fails to pay rent, you can provide a 7-day notice to pay or vacate. If they still do not pay, you can proceed with the eviction process.

4. Can I change the locks to prevent the family member from entering the property?
No, changing the locks without following the proper eviction process is illegal. You must obtain a court order before denying someone access to the property.

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5. Can I physically remove the family member myself?
No, you must hire a sheriff or constable to enforce the eviction. They will ensure a peaceful removal of the family member from the property.

6. Are there any exceptions to the eviction process for family members?
In some cases, such as instances of domestic violence, the court may grant an emergency protective order, allowing the immediate eviction of a family member without following the usual procedures.

7. Can I evict a family member who is a minor?
The eviction process for a minor family member differs from that of an adult. It is advisable to consult with an attorney for guidance on how to proceed in such cases.

Evicting a family member in Alabama can be a challenging process, both emotionally and legally. It is crucial to understand the specific eviction laws in the state and follow the proper procedures to ensure a successful eviction. Seeking legal counsel during this process is highly recommended to navigate the complexities and protect your rights as a property owner.