On August 3rd, the Judicial Council of California released a news article regarding the Chief Justice’s remarks about a possible end to the California eviction moratorium. The Council’s Emergency Rules  have prevented courts from moving forward on all unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuits since April, with only a few exceptions for public health and safety. The announcement on Monday indicates possible relief for landlords who are suffering from the inability to evict tenants.

On July 24th, during a meeting of the Judicial Council, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakuaye stated, “the Council will very soon resume voting to terminate these temporary orders 1 and 2 having to do with unlawful detainer evictions and foreclosures.

“If Council votes to terminate rules 1 and 2, the rescission of the rules will be effective on August 14, giving our sister branches more time, the time they need to deliberate, conduct hearings, and enact and sign legislation. I urge our sister branches to turn their attention to this critical work to protect people from devastating effects of this pandemic and its recent resurgence.”

Many local eviction moratoria are still in effect, relieving tenants from the obligation to pay rent temporarily. These are mostly rent deferment options for tenants suffering hardship due to COVID-19. For example, the city of San Diego will continue its COVID-related eviction moratorium through December 2020. But there are many more evictions pending, or waiting to be filed, that are not prevented by the local ordinances.

Check your local ordinances for more information. We have pulled ordinances for CarlsbadChula VistaEncinitasImperial BeachLa MesaNational CityOceansideSan Marcos, and Santee.  Go to the city’s website to learn more. Some of the city websites contain lots of helpful links to information. Things are changing daily!

Once the California Emergency Rules of Court are withdrawn, or “sunset”, we will be able to move forward with many evictions that are not prevented by local eviction moratoria. This includes the majority of the evictions that have crossed my desk since March 2020.

We support and commend the Judicial Council in taking quick action to grant relief for landlords now that the legislature is back in session.

Shanna Welsh-Levin is a California Real Estate Attorney who assists Realtors®, investors, and homeowners with real estate sale transactions and litigation. She authored legislation that became the California short sale anti-deficiency statute, Cal. Code of Civil Procedure §580e. Her firm, So. Cal. Realty Law, resolves real estate disputes and protects real estate investments.  Services also include managing risk for real estate brokers and preventing future liability.