California judges postpone decision on resuming evictions and foreclosures

Judicial leaders want to give state legislators more time to draw up a policy

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California
Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California

California state judicial officials this week postponed a decision to resume evictions and foreclosure proceedings, which the state put on hold during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Judicial Council was scheduled to vote on a proposal to allow those proceedings to start again on August 4, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some political leaders criticized the proposal, arguing that the Judicial Council should hold off until the state legislature passes legislation governing post-coronavirus evictions.

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who leads the Judicial Council, said she postponed the decision because she believes “the executive and legislative branches will need more time to sort through various policy proposals.”

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The council put evictions and foreclosures on hold in early April, preventing California courts from carrying out any eviction notices filed until Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted his state of emergency.

Many local governments in California adopted their own eviction moratoriums and rules during the pandemic, which means evictions could be carried out in one city and remain barred in a neighboring city.

Some cities could see a wave of evictions once moratoriums end. A recent UCLA study found that around 365,000 evictions could be carried out in L.A. County alone once state and local bans are lifted.

California Assemblymember David Chiu announced legislation this week that would bar evictions for 90 days after local emergency moratoriums end. Landlords couldn’t file a civil suit for unpaid rent for a full year, although renters would have to pay rent during that time. [LAT]Dennis Lynch