Eviction and Judicial Foreclosure Information

Short Answer

Residential and commercial evictions and judicial foreclosures are currently prohibited unless the eviction or foreclosure is necessary to protect public health and safety. These rules will sunset 90 days after the State lifts its proclamation of emergency. There are no other currently effective State or local orders which directly limit evictions or foreclosures.

 

Background Information

County Emergency Order and Regulation No, 3, which imposed restrictions on residential and commercial evictions related to COVID-19, expired on May 31, 2020. Likewise, the Governor’s Executive Order N-37-20, which modified the residential eviction process related to COVID-19, expired on May 31, 2020.

On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council adopted several emergency orders, which includes Emergency Rule number 1 and Emergency Rule number 2, which relate to evictions and judicial foreclosures, respectively.  

Emergency Rule number 1 prohibits a court from issuing a summons to any residential or commercial tenant. (Cal. Rules of Court, Emergency Rule 1(b).) If a summons has already been issued, the court is prohibited from setting a trial date sooner than 60 days after a request for a trial is made. (Cal. Rules of Court, Emergency Rule 1 (d).) The court is also prohibited from entering a default or default judgment in an unlawful detainer action. (Cal. Rules of Court, Emergency Rule 1(c).) Each of the foregoing prohibitions do not apply if the court makes a finding related to the protection of the public health and safety (e.g., the court may issue a summons if necessary to protect the public health and safety, etc.). In short, the eviction process in California has effectively stopped unless the eviction is needed to protect public health and safety.  There is no requirement that the tenant be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Rule number 2 addresses judicial foreclosures brought pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 725a, including any action for a deficiency judgment. It stays all pending actions; tolls any statute of limitation for the filing of such actions, and extends any period for electing or exercising any rights under the judicial foreclosure statutory provisions, including the right of redemption. Similarly, the judicial foreclosure process in California has effectively stopped unless the foreclosure is needed to protect public health and safety. There is no requirement that the borrower be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Note that most residential foreclosures in California are done via trustee’s sale, and therefore, the limitations do not apply.