On April 6, 2020, California Courts issued Emergency Rules on Evictions and Foreclosures. The Judicial Council adopted the emergency rules for all California courts. The rules effectively stays all evictions and foreclosures except those necessary to protect the health and safetly of the public. The new emergency rules are applicable to all evictions and foreclosures in California Courts, whether they are based on a tenant’s missed rent payment or another reason. The new rule will apply to evictions and foreclosures for 90 days from when Governor Newsome lifts the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic, or until it is amended or repealed by the Judicial Council. A brief summary of the new court rules:
- Prohibits a court from issuing a summons after a landlord files an eviction case, unless necessary to protect public health and safety. This means that, even if a landlord files an eviction case, the tenant will not be under the normal five-day deadline to respond. The time for the tenant to respond to a new eviction case will not begin until the rule is lifted, giving them time to seek out legal assistance and assuring that no tenant’s right to tell their side of the story in court is denied due to the emergency.
- Prohibits a court from entering an automatic default judgment against the tenant because the tenant failed to file a response, unless the court finds: 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.
The Judicial Council also adopted an emergency rule related to foreclosures. This rule also applies for 90 days after Governor Newsom lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency. The rule prohibits a court from taking any action or issuing any decisions or judgments unless necessary for public health and safety. The rule also:
- Postpones any legal deadlines for filing foreclosure cases.
- Extends the period for exercising any rights in a foreclosure case, including any right of redemption from a foreclosure sale, or petitioning the court in relation to such a right.
While these emergency rules effectively put evictions and foreclosures on hold at least through summer, they do not establish any new tenant rights or defenses to an eviction. They also fail to address requirements for notifying landlords or providing documentation when tenants are unable to pay rent due to loss of income or other COVID-19 related reasons. The rules are silent as to how repayment will be handled. These are all issues that would be difficult for the courts to take on, or that they don’t have the authority to address. We expect that the Legislature will address these issues with urgency when it returns in May and we will advise our clients accordingly.
For many these rules will provide a welcome breathing room for those displaced from work by the Governor’s shelter in place order. As we work through the COVID19 epidemic courts will likely issue new guidelines and rules to address the bottleneck once these rules expire. Doan Law Firm has helped thousands of clients facing foreclosure and evictions over the last 25 years. If you would like further information on how these rules may affect you, please contact us for a free telephonic consultation at (760) 746-4476.
Written by Shawn Doan–
Owner of Escondido Bankruptcy, San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney Shawn A. Doan received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. Shawn A. Doan attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate degree and gaining acceptance to the California Bar in 1999. He has successfully represented thousands of clients in Bankruptcy proceedings. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California and the Southern, Central, and Eastern Federal District Courts of California. Shawn A. Doan has successfully litigated hundreds of claims against credit card companies that willfully violate the bankruptcy code and other state and federal laws designed to protect consumers.
Survivor Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Camp
In November 2006, Mr. Doan survived an intensive five-day training session in bankruptcy litigation at Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Camp. Gardner’s Boot Camp is conducted on Gardner’s 160-acre Farm located deep in the South Mountains of Western North Carolina. Gardner is widely recognized as the leading lawyer in America in the areas of Predatory Mortgage Servicing and the collection of discharged debts in consumer bankruptcy cases. His Boot Camps have been featured in the NY Times, the Washington Post, Business Week, and CNN’s “Open House.” Gardner says he “teaches the Boot Campers to think like the creditors so that they can beat them at their own game.” Shawn’s present and past professional affiliations include being a member of the:
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
- American Bar Institute
- Bar Association of North County
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- National Bankruptcy Institute
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- North County Attorney Referral Service, and
- San Diego County Attorney Referral Service
- National Association of Consumer Attorneys
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PURSUANT TO THE NEW LAWS, WE MUST DISCLOSE THAT WE ARE A DESIGNATED DEBT RELIEF AGENCY UNDER 11 U.S.C. ß528. WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY ASSISTED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIANS IN FILING BANKRUPTCY, DISCHARGING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO UNDER THE LAWS.