CLARK BARS UPDATE - OCTOBER 14th 2020
Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, PC
Date: October 14, 2020
COVID-19 - CRITICAL SECOND UPDATE - CDC Order Temporarily Halting Evictions
By: Christopher R. Walker
On Monday, October 12, 2020 a Clark Bars Article was sent out concerning the changes in the approach taken by the CDC and DOJ concerning the September 4, 2020 CDC Order Temporarily Halting Evictions. As indicated previously, the CDC provided a document titled “Frequently Asked Questions
” concerning the Order. In this document the CDC provided that the Order was not intended to terminate or suspend the operations of any state or local court nor was it intended to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings, provided that the actual eviction of a covered person for non-payment of rent does NOT take place during the period of the Order.
On Monday, October 12, 2020 this information along with a brief submitted by the DOJ in support of CDC’s eviction ban was provided to the Arizona Supreme Court and an ask was made of the Court to permit plaintiff’s to obtain judgment and, in cases where a tenant provides a lawful CDC declaration, order the writ of restitution to issue after December 31, 2020. On October 14, 2020 the Supreme Court responded to our request.
Pursuant to Administrative Order 2020-163
in which the Arizona Supreme Court authorized Plaintiffs to file eviction cases and even obtain judgments in non-payment of rent matters and, presumably, non-renewal matters, despite the submission from the tenant of a CDC declaration. The Plaintiff may, at its option, contest the validity of the statements made by the tenant in the CDC declaration and seek the Court to invalidate the declaration, provided the Plaintiff can prove by the preponderance of the evidence that one or more of the statements in the declaration is false. Alternatively, the Plaintiff can leave the writ date as January 4, 2021. Please note, not every judge will grant the judgment, some may instead elect to continue the case until after December 31, 2020. While there are likely some judges that will do this we believe those judges to be few in number and have legal arguments at our disposal as to why a continuance is not proper.
So what are the major takeaways from this development?
- Landlords should process their evictions for all tenants, even those with CDC declarations;
- Landlords need to advise the Firm that the CDC declaration was received from the tenant;
- Judgments can be entered for non-payment of rent cases even when a CDC declaration is provided;
- Non-payment of rent cases with a valid CDC declaration will result in either the granting of a judgment with a writ to execute after December 31, 2020 or may, in some courts, be continued until January 4, 2021; an
- Landlords retain the right to challenge any declaration received from a tenant.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the Order and the Court’s interpretation of the Order please direct them to Christopher Walker via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via phone at (602) 957-7877.
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