Why This is Important
Summary ejectments are the first of two court processes for formally evicting a tenant. In 2016 there were an average 906 summary ejectments filed per month in Durham County and that declined to 790 per month in 2017 (NC Administrative of Office of the Courts). Between 2010 and 2017 the percentage of these resulting in judgments against a tenant declined from 59% to 51.8% (data from NC Courts).
The second court process is the writ of possession, served by the Sheriff's Department to remove a tenant and their belongings from a unit. Writs of possession are issued less frequently and only after a judgment has been issued against a tenant. In 2017 2,564 writs of possession were issued by the Sheriff's Department. It is unclear how many "informal" evictions occur, when a tenant is removed by "self help" eviction or without going through a court process.
Evictions happen for a wide variety of direct reasons, from a tenant violating the terms of a lease to a landlord wrongfully displacing a tenant. But economic pressures are increasingly a driver of displacement nationally, with inner city rents escalating, residential and incomes stagnating.
About the Data
DataWorks acquires civil process records from the Durham County Sheriff's Department for use at the neighborhood level. These are records of the Sheriff's Department notifications to tenants and do not include any personally-identifiable information. The number of these summary ejectment filings per Census blockgroup is divided by the area of the blockgroup in square miles.
NOTE: Summary ejectment counts published here are revised as of May 17, 2019. These counts represent a modest increase across the county per year with the largest change (an additional 203 summary ejectments) in 2013. Among the blockgroups of the county, these new counts vary from previous summaries published here, with 81% of blockgroups seeing less than a 10-count change in any given year. These Compass summaries are now managed within our databases to ensure future stability in counts and reproducibility. To learn more about this change and how we manage evictions data contact .
Source: Durham County Sheriff's Department