Fall River
image description

California Judicial Council Halts Evictions

  • By: Margaret E. Long, Partner 

On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council adopted an emergency rule that prohibits all evictions, except those necessary to protect public health and safety. This applies even if the eviction is based on a tenant’s missed rent payment. This new court rule will apply until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency related to the COVID‐19 pandemic, or until it is amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.

The rule:

  • Prohibits a court from issuing a summons after a landlord files an eviction case, unless necessary to protect public health and safety. 
  • Prohibits a court from entering a default judgment against the tenant because the tenant failed to file a response, unless the court finds on the record: 
    • The eviction is necessary to protect public health and safety; and
    • The tenant failed to respond in the time required by law, including any extension that may apply due to the Governor’s Executive Order regarding evictions during the COVID19 emergency.
  • For eviction cases where the tenant has responded or appeared, prohibits a court from setting the case for trial earlier than 60 days after a trial is requested, unless necessary to protect public health and safety.
  • Requires any trial in an eviction case that was already scheduled as of April to be postponed until at least 60 days after the initial trial date.

These emergency rules do not establish any new tenant rights, address requirements when tenants are unable to pay rent due to loss of income or other COVID‐19 related reasons, or address how repayment will be handled.