Statewide eviction ban, set to end, may get brief extension

Judicial Council may delay hearing until Sept. 1, but wants California legislators to take on issue

Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye
Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye

The state court’s rulemaking body plans to extend — but only briefly — the statewide eviction and foreclosure moratorium, which had been expected to end this week.

The Judicial Council proposed delaying until Sept. 1 any consideration to end the temporary ban, which has been a lifeline for struggling renters and homeowners, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. In April, the Judicial Council essentially imposed the ban, by ruling that California courts would not process orders related to commercial and residential evictions and foreclosures. It has been in effect ever since.

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said earlier this month that it was up to the state’s legislative and executive branches to come up with a solution to mitigate what some tenant advocates and academics have said could be a wave of evictions statewide.

UCLA projected in May that more than 350,000 renters in L.A. County alone could be evicted when the ban is lifted.

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Cantil-Sakauye reiterated that position in a statement on Tuesday, saying that “the judicial branch cannot usurp the responsibility of the two other branches on a long term basis to deal with the myriad of impacts of the pandemic.”

The brief extension gives state lawmakers less time than they requested to craft and vet a bill. Earlier this month, two top state Democrats asked the Council to delay any vote on the moratorium to no earlier than Sept. 5. They said that “speeding up the legislative process is nearly impossible.”

Among the proposals up for debate is Assembly member David Chiu’s bill, AB 1436. It would prohibit evictions until 90 days after the state lifts its pandemic emergency or April 1, 2021, whichever comes first. [LADN]Dennis Lynch