As noted in prior updates, on April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council issued emergency amendments to the California Rules of Court that, among other things, except as necessary to protect public health and safety (1) prohibited the issuance of a summons or entering of a default in eviction actions on residential and commercial properties alike and providing that trial in such actions not be set until 60 days after a request for trial and (2) stayed pending judicial foreclosure actions, tolled the statute of limitations on such actions and extended the deadlines for election or exercise of rights relating to such actions. These amendments were to remain in effect until 90 days after the governor declares the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic lifted or until these amendments are further amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.
On August 13, 2020, the Judicial Council voted 19-1 for these rules to remain in effect only through September 1, 2020. The tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to judicial foreclosures is, in any case, governed by another emergency rule number 9 adopted on April 6, which emergency rule tolls all statutes of limitations until 90 days after the Governor declares the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.
In commenting on the Judicial Council’s new action, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye commented that the role of the courts is to resolve disputes, stated that the courts cannot usurp the responsibilities of the legislative and executive branches on a long term basis, and urged the legislative and executive branches to act expeditiously to resolve the looming crisis in evictions, foreclosures and homelessness.