Has the Texas Supreme Court issued any guidance on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction order?
Yes, the Texas Supreme Court on September 17 issued an order that will be in effect until December 15. In the order, the court clarifies what landlords must provide in a sworn statement before proceeding with the eviction process. An eviction petition must include a sworn statement on whether or not:
- the premises is a “covered dwelling” subject to Section 4024 of the CARES Act;
- the plaintiff is a “multifamily borrower” under forbearance subject to Section 4023 of the CARES Act;
- the landlord has provided the defendant with 30 days’ notice to vacate under Sections 4024(c) and 4023(e) of the CARES Act; and
- the tenant has provided the landlord with a declaration under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s agency order, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, that took effect September 4, 2020.
The citation issued by a court must also include language providing notice of the CDC’s order to the tenant, and the order states that a judge has authority to ask whether a tenant facing eviction is aware of the CDC’s order. Furthermore, the order clarifies that if a tenant files the declaration with the court and serves a copy of the declaration on the landlord after an eviction petition has been filed, the court must abate the eviction action, including the issuance and execution of any writ of possession.