Do you need an attorney to file an eviction?

In Illinois, can a “non-attorney” get involved in the eviction process?  Is the assistance of a lawyer necessary to file a forcible entry and detainer suit?  In most cases, a non-attorney landlord may represent himself or herself without an attorney.  There are a few exceptions. In most instances, Corporations and LLCs must be represented in court by an attorney.

I get asked on a regular basis by regular, everyday individual landlords whether it is “required” to have an attorney to handle an eviction.  Those landlords certainly have a right to represent themselves without legal counsel.  In fact, every day in Cook County on the 13th and 14th floors of the Daley Center, many landlords do just that.  Like anything else in life, some do a great job and some mess the job up.

The situation is akin to getting an oil change.  Do I need a Jiffy Lube to change my oil?  No.  I can go to Wal-Mart and buy a filter, some motor oil, a wrench, and an oil pan and can change it myself.  If I am handy, it will probably take some time, but I can get through it.  If I am not handy, I suspect I will make a mess all over my driveway.  Instead, I can go to the Jiffy Lube and have the job done by someone who has done the job before, has the oil and tools in stock, and is experienced with doing the job.

I like Jiffy Lube.


About Richard Magnone

Co-founding member of Reda | Ciprian | Magnone, LLC, attorney at law and Illinois licensed lawyer since 1996.
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