On Monday, April 6, the Judicial Council of California adopted an emergency order suspending eviction proceedings in the entire state of California during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the emergency rule, almost all California evictions and foreclosures are now put on hold for the foreseeable future.
California’s state of emergency was formalized by Governor Newsom on March 4th with the purpose of helping the state prepare for the broader spread of COVID-19. Nearly a month later, the new emergency rule is meant to protect tenants who face increasing financial hardships during the state of emergency, and it will remain in place until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted.
What Does The Emergency Rule Entail?
The emergency rule applies to all courts and eviction cases, whether they are due to nonpayment by tenants or other reasons. The only exception is if the eviction or foreclosure is deemed necessary for public safety or health.
Under the emergency rule, courts are prohibited from issuing summons after a landlord files an eviction case. Likewise, for eviction cases where tenants have already responded or appeared, courts cannot set a trial date earlier than 60 days before the trial was requested. Or, if a trail has already been scheduled as of April, the date must be postponed until at least 60 days after the initially scheduled trial date.
California courts are also prohibited from entering automatic default judgement in the event of nonresponse from a tenant unless the tenant fails to respond in the time required by law. The time required by law includes any extensions resulting from the Executive Order that blocks evictions due to COVID-19.
The Details For Tenants
As for tenants, under the emergency rule that do not need to respond to summons from landlords under the normal 5-day deadline. They are not required to respond to summons until after the emergency rule is lifted.
While the emergency rule protects against eviction and foreclosure, some in the housing industry are concerned that the rule puts investment property owners and banks at financial risk.
At Del Rey Urban, we are here to help the entire community. Whether you’re a property manager with questions regarding this new rule or tenants that need help – please feel free to reach out to us.