California Judicial Council enacts Emergency Rules to suspend eviction and foreclosure actions during COVID-19 pandemic

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Effective April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council enacted eleven Emergency Rules of the California Rules of Court due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the changes set forth in the Emergency Rules, we wanted to call to your attention those certain Emergency Rules which impact the availability of a judicial remedy in a dispute relating to real property.

Evictions/Unlawful Detainer (Emergency Rule 1)

  • A court may not issue a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer (“U/D”) unless action is necessary to protect public health and safety.
  • A court may not enter default or a default judgment in a U/D action unless (1) necessary to protect public health and safety and (2) defendant failed to appear.
  • Trial dates for U/D actions are continued at least 60 days.
  • The Rule is to remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares the state of emergency lifted or until the rule is amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.

Judicial Foreclosures Suspended (Emergency Rule 2)

  • Any actions for foreclosure, including any action for a deficiency judgment, are stayed unless necessary to protect public health and safety.
  • Any applicable statute of limitation is tolled.
  • The Rule is to remain in effect until 90 days after Governor declares the state of emergency lifted, or until the rule is amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.

Statutes of Limitations for Civil Cases of Action Tolled (Emergency Rule 9)

  • The statutes of limitations for civil causes of action is tolled from April 6, 2020, until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency.

Extensions of time to bring civil actions to trial (Emergency Rule 10)

  • For all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020, the time to bring the action to trial is extended by 6 months for a total time of 5 years and 6 months.
  • For all civil actions filed on or before April 6, 2020, if a new trial is granted, the time is extended by 6 months for a total time of 3 years and 6 months.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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