Texas judges no longer authorized to enforce CDC eviction moratorium

Local News

LUBBOCK Texas- While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have extended their moratorium on evictions to January 30th, the Texas Supreme Court has made the decision to not extend its enforcement of the moratorium.

“It’s been an extremely difficult year, the rules were changed from both the CDC and the Texas Supreme Court, it seemed like every month,” said Judge Hansen with Precinct 1, “I think now what we are seeing is the light at the end of the tunnel for COVID and I think that’s why the Texas Supreme Court chose not to continue enforcing the CDC moratorium through the courts.”

Hansen said he suggests landlords look into seeking counsel before evicting tenants.

“If a landlord wrongly evicts someone with a COVID related reason, the landlord can be subject to civil and criminal penalties and can end up in court,” said Hansen, “My court no longer enforces the CDC moratorium. Basically — my evictions have gone back to the way I handled them before.”

Mont McClendon, president of the Lubbock Apartment Association, said it’s been a weird year with many changes for landlords who have all had to pivot amid the pandemic.

“With the lifting of the state restrictions, I think there’d be a moment of figuring it out [and] I don’t anticipate at least locally, an expectation of a flood of evictions,” said McClendon, “People really tried to work through this.”

Karen Murfee, Director of Community Development with the City of Lubbock, said they have resources to help people pay rent and utilities.

“We [have] $7.8 million [and] we have not spent that,” said Murfee,”They have extended the time to spend the money, and that’s another year from now.”

Murfee said people should not feel shy to apply and that sharing the information could help others.

If you’d like to find out about the City of Lubbock’s assistance programs click here.

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