Miami-Dade County resumed executing writs of possessions for residential eviction cases filed before the pandemic, following an unannounced month-long break.
The police execute writs of possession, evicting residents or businesses from their properties. The move follows a final judgment in a court case.
Homeowners with federally backed mortgages are protected from eviction until at least March 31, per a federal moratorium from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
On Nov. 13, former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez directed the police department to begin enforcing writs of possession for all cases filed on or before March 12, when the mayor declared a state of emergency. The policy continued under incumbent Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who took office days after Gimenez’s order.
But by early February, Miami-Dade Police paused the service of writs of possession as the mayor’s office looked to clarify the policy, according to a spokesperson. That temporary change in policy was not announced in writing. The break ended on Thursday, the spokesperson confirmed.
In a court filing dated Feb. 2 for a foreclosure case dating back to 2015, the lender cited an “oral directive” from the mayor that led to the police refusing to execute a writ of possession. That residential borrower, who was foreclosed on, was evicted on Thursday, according to her attorney, David Winker.
In a memo issued on Thursday, the mayor re-stated her policy on evictions. Miami-Dade Police will also remove non-tenants who are identified as squatters.
Earlier this month, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved Levine Cava’s $60 million relief program for residential landlords with pending writs of possession for tenants facing eviction. The program offers landlords back rent of up to $3,000 per month. At that press conference, Michael Liu, Miami-Dade’s public housing director, said the courts had issued up to 1,700 writs of possession which would be prioritized.
According to Miami-Dade Police, the department executed two commercial and nine residential writs of possession on Thursday. From Nov. 12 until Thursday, 324 writs of possession have been executed.