Chief Justice Remarks on Judicial Council Emergency Rules on Evictions, Foreclosures
Posted August 5, 2020 in Legislation
California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye made the following remarks related to emergency rules governing evictions and judicial forelosures during the July 24 Judicial Council meeting:
“As we all know too well, our country and state continues to grapple with sad and tragic effects from the global pandemic as well as different state and local consequences, directives, and orders related to the global pandemic.
Last March when the Governor issued his executive order providing me as chair of the Judicial Council and the Council with unprecedented temporary authority to protect the public during the pandemic, I promised on our behalf to the Governor that we would assume this responsibility with the greatest care.
And at the time of his executive order, as you all know, our Legislature was not in session. And the Council exercised its new authority as a constitutional partner with the executive branch by adopting temporary emergency rules designed to protect the health and safety of the public while ensuring that access to justice remains available, safely.
Let me emphasize however the word—temporary—as regarding these rules. The pandemic and the resulting economic recession have frightening impacts for those who have fallen ill and their families and friends and for those who have lost employment and health care and are at risk of losing housing or facing bankruptcy. We adopted temporary measures, as you know, to reduce the population of court users to urgent and critical users to certain types of essential caseloads.
We did so, in part, because the pandemic had caused courts to have [reduced filings] and because we desperately needed to reduce gatherings in courtrooms and courthouses so as not to spread the virus.
We also adopted temporary measures to keep people in their residences during the shelter-in-place orders by delaying evictions and foreclosures while, again, the Legislature was not in session to be able to respond to those needs.
However, we have always known that the remedies that we sought for all the affected parties are best left to the legislative and executive branches of government for open and transparent opportunities to be heard in those meetings and hearings and for permanent measures and permanent solutions.
When we attempted to end some of these temporary rules at the beginning of June, the Governor, legislative leaders and Judicial Council members asked me to suspend the vote on rescinding rules 1 and 2 regarding unlawful detainer evictions and foreclosures to give the Governor and the Legislature more time to sort through various policy proposals.
I note that this coming Monday is July 27, and the Legislature will be back in session. I want to give the two branches enough notice that the Council will very soon resume voting to terminate these temporary orders 1 and 2 having to do with unlawful detainer evictions and foreclosures.
If Council votes to terminate rules 1 and 2, the rescission of the rules will be effective on August 14, giving our sister branches more time, the time they need to deliberate, conduct hearings, and enact and sign legislation. I urge our sister branches to turn their attention to this critical work to protect people from devastating effects of this pandemic and its recent resurgence.”