On March 28, 2021, the CDC issued an order (Order) extending its Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (Moratorium) through June 30, 2021.
The Texas Supreme Court’s 34th Emergency Order, which applied the provisions of the Moratorium to Texas courts, lapsed as of March 31, 2021. The emergency orders serve as guidance for the process relating to the CDC eviction moratorium in Texas eviction cases and not the CDC Order itself. Justice Courts were halting evictions if a CDC Declaration was properly submitted, and the courts have been providing the information to tenants in their citation documents. The Texas Justice Court Training Center’s and the Texas Supreme Court’s position is that nothing in the CDC Order itself specifically directs or forbids courts to take any action. Therefore, Justice Courts will no longer be required to halt evictions if a CDC Declaration was properly filed, and they will no longer provide the information to defendants.
The Bexar County Justice of the Peace Courts issued their 4th Emergency Order on April 7, 2021. In this order, the judges indicated that they would continue to accept CDC Declarations and abate eviction proceedings covered by the declaration unless the plaintiff contests the defendant’s declaration or the CDC Order; the judge holds a hearing to determine whether the action should proceed; and the judge determines that the action should proceed.
As the situation develops, SALSA will periodically update our resource page with any new information. This ever-changing landscape, coupled with a floundering state-run rental assistance program, will make it increasingly difficult for tenants to remain housed and our need for volunteerism will likely increase. If you would like to assist, please register to receive cases through SALSA’s Tenants’ Rights Program here.
News articles and Texas Justice Court Training Center guidance: