CSAC Bulletin Article

Judicial Council Votes on Eviction and Foreclosure Rules

August 13, 2020

Today, the Judicial Council voted 19-1 to end two temporary emergency rules governing evictions and judicial foreclosures after September 1. In the announcement, California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye stated that “the duty of the judicial branch is to resolve disputes under the law and not to legislate” and urged the Legislature and Administration to work “expeditiously” to resolve the looming crisis. As noted in last week’s CSAC Bulletin, the Legislature is currently considering bills related to COVID-19 eviction and foreclosure protections. The circulating order approved by the Council is available here. 

The Judicial Council previously instituted two emergency rules related to evictions and judicial foreclosures on April 6. The eviction rule prohibited the issuance of summons or entering of default judgments in unlawful detainer actions unless the case involves public health and safety issues, and provides that trials be set at least 60 days after a request for trial. The foreclosure rule stayed all judicial foreclosure actions brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 725a et seq., tolls the statute of limitation for such actions, and extends all deadlines of electing or exercising any rights related to such action.

These two emergency rules were initially set to expire 90 days after the Governor lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency. The Chief Justice had emphasized the temporary nature of the emergency rules emergency rules and stated that it is more appropriate for permanent measures and solutions to be considered by the legislative and executive branches.

As of September 2, 2020, unless the Legislature  enacts law providing otherwise, courts will once again be authorized to issue summons on all unlawful detainer actions, enter defaults and issue writs of execution when appropriate, and set trial dates on request, subject to Code of Civil Procedure section 1170.5.

Like the proposed change to emergency rule 1 above, as of September 2, 2020, unless the Legislature provides otherwise, stays on pending judicial foreclosure actions will be lifted and any deadlines in such actions will no longer be deferred.

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