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Executive Order, 2020-14 – Postponement of Eviction Actions for 120 days, BUT ONLY UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

eviction

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.

    1. The   individual   is  required   to  be  quarantined   based  on  their  diagnosis  of COVID-19.
    2. 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.
    3. The individual is required to be quarantined based on someone in the home being diagnosed with COVID-19.
    4. 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.
    5. 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

eviction

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:

evictionPlease 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.

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Diane L. Drain

Diane L. Drain, bankruptcy attorney, retired law professor, mentor and community spokesperson.

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