Defining the Detainer

Unlawful Detainer

An Unlawful Detainer Action is required in order to evict a tenant from a rental property. Minnesota State Statutes Chapter 504B regulate these actions.

File a Complaint

To commence an Unlawful Detainer Action, the property owner must file a complaint with the Sherburne County Court Administrator:
Sherburne County Government Center
ATTN: Sherburne County Court Administrator
13880 Business Center Drive NW
Suite 100
Elk River, MN 55330-4668

Phone Number: 763-765-4600


When a complaint has been filed, the Court Administrator will set a court date, issue a summons and provide the plaintiff with enough copies of the summons and complaint to serve each defendant. If the tenant has unknown parties living on the premises, the plaintiff can list John Doe, Mary Roe, etc. as additional defendants. The summons and complaint must be served on each tenant/defendant no less than seven days before the court date, exclusive of the court date. The service must be made by a third person who is not part of the court action. A notarized Affidavit of Service must be filed with the Court Administrator before the date of the court hearing.


The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division can serve the papers on the tenant/defendant. The original summons, plus copies of the summons and complaint for the defendants should be delivered to the address listed to the left, as soon as the plaintiff receives them.

The Sheriff’s Office will attempt to serve the papers on at least two different days; one day before 6:00 p.m. and one day after 6:00 p.m. If the deputy does not find the defendants at home on either attempt the deputy will post the summons and complaint on the door of the premises involved in the action. If the deputy posts the notice you will be contacted by the Sheriff’s Office and informed that the service was posted If the service is by posting, the plaintiff is required to mail a copy of the Summons and Complaint to each defendant by first class mail. The plaintiff must also complete and file a notarized Affidavit of Mailing with the Court Administrator.

Affidavit of Mailing

The Sheriff’s Office will complete the appropriate Certificate of Service or Eviction Posting and the original Summons and Certificate of Service/Posting will be filed with the Court Administrator’s office by the Sheriff. Find the Affidavit of Mailing document (PDF).


The information presented is not comprehensive. It does not provide legal advice, nor attempt to suggest a course of action if there are legal issues to be resolved. If you are unsure of how to proceed, you should contact an attorney. Our staff members are not permitted to provide legal advice, nor can we recommend any specific attorney.


Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained on this website is valid at the time of publication. Sherburne County reserves the right to make additions, changes, or corrections at any time and without notice. Additionally, Sherburne County disclaims any and all liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies and is not responsible for misuse or misinterpretation. Data is updated periodically.