Today, the Judicial Council, the head of California Courts, issued new rules for court cases in California during COVID-19. The new rules include protections for tenants that will achieve the priorities expressed by the Governor’s March 27th Executive Order, which state that a public health crisis is not the time to proceed with evictions. The rules suspend tenants’ obligation to quickly file a response to eviction cases, state that no default judgments for eviction will be issued against tenants during shelter-in-place, and suspend all orders to appear in court for eviction cases. Our summary of the rule on evictions and foreclosures can be found here.
This effectively suspends most evictions during the Covid-19 State of Emergency.
These rules issued by the Judicial Council are imperative for maintaining public health; the health of court workers, defendants, tenants, landlords, and the rest of the public rests on a maximum number of people possible staying in their homes, per Governor Newsom’s March 20th stay-at home order. Tenants must maintain housing at this time.
The leadership shown by the Judicial Council recognizes the impact of California law in real life, and ensures that the intention of orders from the Governor play out appropriately for people on the ground.