CLARK BARS UPDATE - JULY 22ND 2021
Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, PC
Date: July 22, 2021
By: Christopher R. Walker, Esq.
COVID-19 - The Return to Normalcy: How to Execute Writs on Cases Delayed by the CDC Moratorium
As of August 1, 2021 the CDC Moratorium should be over. After nearly 15 months of moratoriums Arizona courts will have a considerable backlog of cases to handle, a concern that was recently addressed by the Arizona Supreme Court
Pursuant to the proposed administrative order from the Arizona Supreme Court, landlords who had their cases delayed by the CDC’s moratorium are required to file a motion with the court to request the issuance of a writ of restitution and may, in said motion, seek to amend the judgment to reflect the current monies owed. The administrative order requires that the court conduct a hearing on the motion and further provides that, if the relief requested is granted, the court can order the writ of restitution to issue no earlier than five days from the date of the hearing. We have been advised that these motions will receive priority, however
, we are uncertain as to how the court will process these motions given the volume of motions we expect to be filed by Arizona landlords.
Based on the proposed procedures, we have come up with three options for landlords seeking to execute a writ on a judgment previously granted but delayed due to the tenant(s) presenting a CDC Declaration.
Prepare and file a Motion to Amend the Judgment both as to the amounts currently owed (up to the jurisdictional cap of $10,000 for justice court) and as to the writ of restitution date. This motion can be filed as soon as August 2, 2021. Clients will need to provide an updated ledger and complete the attached Writ of Restitution Request Form. The fee for the filing of this motion will be $300.00 and will cover both the motion and the hearing that will occur. This fee does not cover the costs or fees associated with the actual filing of the writ of restitution.
Prepare and file a Motion to Amend the Judgment set forth in Option 1 but only as to the date for the writ of restitution. A hearing on this motion is still required and the writ of restitution should be issuable five days after the date of the hearing. The fees for this motion remain the same as in Option 1.
Landlords can commence a new eviction proceeding. This may require issuing a new notice for the current delinquency and (depending on the amounts owed) may require vacating a previously issued and outstanding judgment. In this option, the normal procedures for filing cases will apply and landlords will be required to fill out the Landlord Verification form created by our office to facilitate the filing of the action. Cases filed should be heard by the court similar to cases heard in months prior, however, due to the priority on motions to amend there may be some delays in getting hearing dates on newly filed cases. We have yet to see the court’s plan on this and, unfortunately, only time will tell as to how the court navigates the different case filings in the following months.
It is the Firm’s recommendation that landlords who have an existing judgment where the tenancy has not
or rental assistance received that would not preclude the eviction should proceed with Option 1. We consider this to be the likely quicker route to recovering possession of the premises and updating the amounts owed to reflect additional rent accrued post execution of the judgment.
Reinstatement Means: accepting rent from the tenant IN EXCESS of the amount awarded in the judgment. (Example: Judgment is for $5,000.00 on May 15, 2021 and we accept payment of the $5,000.00 plus then June’s rent of $1,500.00. In this case, the lease has been reinstated)
Landlords will need to be cautious on calling in motions to amend and seeking evictions for tenants who have recently received rental assistance. Some rental assistance agreements may limit your right to evict the tenant for thirty (30) days and/or the months that the rental assistance covers. If you have any questions regarding your rights or any limitations in your ability to file an eviction if you received rental assistance for your tenant you should contact our office.
Please make sure you read this form carefully and answer all questions that are being asked in the form. PLEASE NOTE: This form is also available on our client portal.
• REQUEST FOR WRIT OF RESTITUTION POST CDC ORDER FORM
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