AZ COA2: TENANT CANNOT ENJOIN LANDLORD FROM EVICTING

A dispute arose over the terms of a commercial lease, and the landlord sued the tenant for certain operating expenses. The tenant then stopped paying rent and sought a preliminary injunction against any eviction proceedings. The landlord responded with an amended complaint for forcible detainer (eviction). The trial court granted the preliminary injunction and denied the eviction. Appeal ensued.

The Court of Appeals, Division 2, reversed, holding that the trial court did not have authority to enjoin eviction. The Forcible Detainer statute, A.R.S. §12-1171 et. seq., gives the landlord the right to an expeditious adjudication, and “the only issue shall be the actual right of possession”, A.R.S. §12-1177(A). Since claims for equitable relief inject additional considerations, such as relative hardship to the parties, a request for an injunction runs afoul of the express language of the statute.

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