Ask for more time to move

If you lose your eviction case, you need to move out (at the latest) 5 days after the sheriff posts a Notice to Vacate on your door. If you need more time to move, you can ask the court for a stay of execution. You will need to show the court that you have a good reason for needing more time.

File a stay of execution to get more time

If don't move out right away, your landlord can ask the sheriff to put a Notice to Vacate form on your door that says you have to move out within 5 days. This may not be enough time if you need to move a family member out who has a health issue. Or, another place to stay may not be ready for another week. 

If you need more time to move out, you can ask for extra time by filing a stay of execution. You will need to pay your landlord for this extra time. You must bring the money to court when you ask for more time.

A stay sounds like you get to stay in your house, but that's not what it means legally. It means to delay making you move out.

If you get a stay of execution, the judge will probably allow you to stay for up to 40 more days, but usually not longer. 

Consider getting legal help if you want a stay of execution

You can only file for a stay after you've gotten the sheriff's Notice to Vacate on your door. As soon as they do, you have a very short time to ask for more time. You need to have legal help to do this.

  • There are no court forms you can fill out so you have to create your request in a specific legal format called pleading paper
  • You have to research the law to figure out what to put on the papers you file.
  • You have to let your landlord know what you're doing and go to court very quickly.
  • It's hard to figure out the deadline for when you have to tell your landlord what you're doing and when you have to go to court to ask the judge. If you're too late, your stay will be denied.
  • Even if you think you have a good reason the judge may not let you stay longer so you have to be ready to move. 

  • You'll have to have all the money needed to pay for the extra days upfront when you talk to the judge or the judge will automatically say "no" to the extra time.

When your landlord filed the Complaint at the beginning of your case they may have said how much they think you owe per day for rent. If you want to stay for 15 extra days, for example, you'll have to bring $750 (15 days times $50 per day) when you take your stay of execution to the judge.

Some courts calculate this differently and make you pay starting with the day of the judgment, so you may owe more than you think. 

Contact your court to find out how they calculate the amount required for a stay of execution payment.

How to figure out the deadline for asking for a stay

The deadline to let your landlord and the court know you need more time is fast.

  •  You have to ask the court at least 1 court day before the sheriff's Notice to Vacate says you have to move.
  • You have to let your landlord know at least 24 hours before then.

You can do these things earlier, but not after these deadlines.

EXAMPlE: deadline to Ask for A stay of execution

If the sheriff's Notice to Vacate says you have to move out Tuesday at 12:01 am:

Start with day 5 on the sheriff’s Notice to Vacate (example – the Notice says you have to move out by 12:01 am Tuesday (September 18). This basically means you need to move out by midnight on Monday, September 17.


Count back 2 days (to Friday, September 14) – You need to call the landlord or his/her attorney by 10:00 am Friday to let them know you are going to come to court the next court day (the next day court's open) to ask the judge for more time to move.


2nd, now count ahead one day - You need to come to court at 8:15 am (approximate time - check with your court) Monday, September 17, in this example, to ask the judge if you can buy the additional time.

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