Executive Order, 2020-14 – Postponement of Eviction Actions for 120 days, BUT ONLY UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
NOW, THEREFORE I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of this state, hereby order as follows:
A. Unless a court determines on motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice or is in accordance with A.R.S. 33-1368(A), pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 26-303 et al, 36-787, all Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board certified law enforcement officers and any person subject to the jurisdiction of the Constable Ethics Standards and Training Board, shall temporarily delay enforcement of eviction action orders for residential premises when one of the following circumstances exist and are documented to the landlord or property owner.
- The individual is required to be quarantined based on their diagnosis of COVID-19.
- The individual is ordered by a licensed medical professional to self-quarantine based on their demonstration of symptoms as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The individual is required to be quarantined based on someone in the home being diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The individual demonstrates that they have a health condition, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that makes them more at risk for COVID-19 than the average person.
- The individual suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19, including:
- Job loss;
- Reduction in compensation;
- Closure of place of employment;
- Obligation to be absent from work to care for a home-bound school-age child; or
- Other pertinent circumstances.
B. If a tenant, lessee or resident is suffering any of the above circumstances and seeks relief from or delay in eviction, they shall notify the landlord or property owner in writing with any available supporting documentation of their temporary financial hardship or state of quarantine as a result of COVID-19 and acknowledge that contractual terms of the lease remain in effect.
C. A landlord shall not interpret a health and safety provision of a contract to include COVID-19 as a reason for termination of a lease or rental agreement; nor shall a landlord terminate a lease or rental agreement solely based on information provided by the tenant to satisfy a notice requirement under paragraph 2.
D. No provision contained in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving any individual of the obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation that an individual may have under a tenancy.
E. This Executive Order shall remain in effect for 120 days.
Signed March 24, 2020, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor
MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
Please be very careful when interpreting any law or policy. If you read this Executive Order closely you will see there are specifics qualifications that apply in order to postpone an eviction. It is also confusing whether this is an Order to the enforcers of eviction actions (such as the Sheriff’s Office) not execute on the eviction order, or is it instructions to the judges not to enter eviction orders, or is it a limitation on the landlords. Landlords are going to fight this hard because, in their minds and pocketbooks, they are forced to give the tenant a free place to live for four months (that is not the intent of the Order, but it may be the consequence). There will certainly be situations where this Order is appropriate, but there will be hundreds or thousands who take advantage of this Order and the confusion it will most certainly cause.