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Calif. Judges Vote To End Coronavirus Eviction Moratorium On Sept. 1

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Judicial Council of California voted Thursday to lift the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures beginning Sept. 1.

Ady Carrillo poses in front of her car with a sign asking to "Cancel Rent" during the "Cancel Rent" Protest and Caravan in Chinatown, August 10 2020, in Los Angeles, California. - The "Cancel Rent" movement is gathering steam with protests across the US as Americans hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic pile up debts. Activists want landlords to suspend rent obligations for those in the most dire straits, having lost their jobs in the economic chaos sparked by the virus crisis. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

By a 19-1 margin, the council voted to end the moratorium, that is unless the California Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom reach a deal on extending it.

The moratorium putting a stay on eviction and foreclosure proceedings had been in place since April 6 in order to provide relief to those facing economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued the following statement Tuesday, two days ahead of the judicial council's vote.

"I urge our sister branches to act expeditiously to resolve this looming crisis. They have had since March 2020 to explore remedies that will provide fairness to all parties while recognizing the limitations the pandemic has placed on our residents and our institutions. Practical, fair solutions may involve special treatment for COVID-related housing issues that would require parties to mediate their issues before coming to a court system dealing COVID-related backlogs."

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to unanimously support Assembly Bill 1436. The bill would extend the eviction moratorium until 15 months after a state or local state of emergency is lifted.

In early July, Newsom signed an extension through Sept. 30 for an executive order which gives local governments the authority to halt renter evictions.

On July 21, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors extended a countywide ban on evictions for residential and commercial tenants through Sept. 30 as well. The moratorium was first put into effect in March, when the pandemic took hold. It applies to all local jurisdictions unless they have enacted their own moratoriums.

In April, the L.A. City Council voted to move forward with a plan to freeze rent increases for a period of about one year for older apartments that are protected by the city's rent stabilization ordinance.

Last October, Newsom signed a law which caps annual rent increases at 5 percent for any housing that is 15 years or older.

California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins released the following statement in response to the council's vote:

"I appreciate the Judicial Council's careful review of policies regarding unlawful detainer and judicial foreclosing proceedings, and decision to extend the emergency rules until September 1. The pandemic has devastated millions of Californians financially, and there continues to be a deep need for solutions that would provide housing stability and financial solvency. The Judicial Council's decision to extend the emergency rules on evictions for a few more weeks allows me and my colleagues to complete our legislative process on bills to address these issues."

The Judicial Council is a policymaking body for the California court system.


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