How do I get written documents from my landlord to share with the court?

As you’re preparing for your eviction hearing, you may think your landlord has some evidence that could help your case. Some examples may include:

  • Copies of all payments you’ve made (sometimes called the “rental ledger”)

  • Your lease agreement

  • A call log of complaints you’ve made or repairs you’ve asked for

The process of requesting these types of documents through the court is called “discovery.” There are specific forms you have to fill out to officially request these documents, and you need to file them before your hearing, so that your landlord has time to put everything together.

There are two forms you may need to file with the court.

The first form asks the court to order that your landlord provide the documents you want. This is called a “Motion for Expedited Discovery.” You can download a sample here to file with the court.

If the court agrees and “grants your motion,” you will then have to file a second form to tell your landlord what documents you want. This is called a “Request for Discovery.” You can download a sample here to file with the court.

Now, if your landlord doesn’t give you these documents before your hearing, you still need to go to your hearing, but you do have the right to ask the court to reschedule. Make sure you bring this up at the beginning of the hearing, because you want the court to consider all this information before your hearing goes forward.