Aug 13

California’s Emergency Stay On Evictions Ends — For The Moment, Landlords Are Free To File Eviction Cases

The California Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the California state judicial system, in a 19-1 vote, decided today to terminate the emergency rules which placed a temporary stay on any eviction or foreclosure proceedings in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Judicial Council originally approved the emergency rules on April 6, 2020, which prohibited eviction proceedings in California except under very limited exceptions. The emergency rules will remain in place through September 1, 2020.

This means that landlords will now be free again to file eviction proceedings against tenants effective September 2, 2020.

Landlords are cautioned, however, that this newly-regained freedom to undertake evictions could be short-lived. Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, who chairs the Judicial Council, exhibited some degree of uneasiness in having the judicial branch of government issuing emergency rules that address problems that really are more appropriately handled through the legislative process. She urged the legislature and executive branches to “resolve the looming crisis” of the housing market and how it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the California Assembly has already passed legislation to protect tenants suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic from eviction proceedings through at least April 2021 (Bill 1436 authored by David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara)) and the Senate is expected to act soon on the measure.

In light of the impending legislation, and the small window of time that exists for landlords to take action), it is recommended that landlords move expeditiously to enforce leases through the eviction process before the new legislation can take effect.

If you are a landlord who has been needing to terminate a tenancy through the eviction process, but have been unable to do so due to the temporary emergency rules which have prohibited evictions, please do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Robert F. French at (530) 587-5500 to consult about your particular tenant matter to see if we can assist you.