Travis County JPs Extend Eviction Moratorium to December 31

COVID-19 News ,

Late Thursday, September 24, the Travis County Justices of the Peace (JPs) issued the following announcement:

IMPORTANT NOTICE MUST READ:
Due to health and safety concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), Justice of the Peace courts will be operating with limited operations until further notice. Please visit each court’s page for additional information.

‚ÄčNote:

  • All non-essential court proceedings will be rescheduled until after December 31, 2020
  • All evictions (commercial and residential) are rescheduled until December 31, 2020
  • No writs of possession shall be issued until December 31, 2020
  • Class C ticket appearances are rescheduled until December 31, 2020
  • No warrants for failing to appear to court for traffic tickets will be issued until December 31, 2020


Please read:


FORMS FOR ESSENTIAL COURT PROCEEDINGS

The Order issued extends their moratorium on eviction trials to December 31 for any non-payment of rent case when the rent is less than or equal to $2,475.00.  

‚ÄčThe December 31 date aligns with the federal eviction moratorium implemented by the Centers for Disease Control. Under the CDC rules, residents can halt all eviction related activities such as an eviction filing, trials and writs of procession until after December 31 once they declare themselves eligible for the eviction protections by submitting a CDC Declaration Form.


Specifically, the JPs Order states:
After September 30, 2020, a trial under Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 510.7 in a residential eviction case is automatically abated until after December 31, 2020 if:
i. The grounds for eviction are solely for non-payment of rent/housing payments, and
ii. The defendant’s/tenant’s portion of the monthly rent/housing payment of the premises is $2,475.00 a month or less.

With regard to tenants making rent payments more than $2,475.00 per month, although the evictions can proceed and are not automatically delayed until after December 31, the tenant can still halt any eviction action by presenting a CDC Declaration to the court. The JPs Order encourages all tenants eligible to provide their landlord a CDC Declaration Form, no matter the monthly rent amount they pay, to file the CDC Declaration Form with the justice court in conjunction with giving a copy to the landlord even if the eviction case against them is automatically abated until after December 31. 

The Travis County JP order still maintains that an eviction hearing can proceed for tenants engaged in criminal activity or where the tenants, or the tenant’s household members or guests pose imminent threat of harm to other residents, or to the property manager or employees.