An eviction proceeding formally known as a Forcible Entry and Detainer action is a statutory procedure to remove an individual (with or without a lease) from a property. The statutory procedure can be found in section 13-40-101 et seq, C.R.S. Eviction actions are filed in county court. Colorado county courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. This means that specific types of issues cannot be resolved before a county court judge. As it relates to an eviction, county court judges cannot hear anything dealing with title or ownership of the property from which an individual is seeking to evict another individual from. As such, anyone that alleges they are an owner of the property and is being asked to leave the property, must file a written Answer by the date outlined in the summons and pay a district court filing fee to move the case from the jurisdiction of county court to district court.
Examples of a title dispute arising in an eviction proceeding can occur when individuals cohabitate together, and one party alleges a common law marriage. Another title dispute may arise when there is an agreement that the occupant may believe he or she has the right to purchase the land from the property owner by way of a land installment contract and the parties perform in accordance with that type of contract. Both situations, and many others, necessitate factual investigation and case evaluation. Call our office to discuss your specific circumstances.