Why are landlord-tenant filings being rejected?

Governor Carney’s Sixth Modification to the Declaration of a State of Emergency prohibited the filing of any non-emergency summary possession actions during the State of Emergency.

In addition, Section 4024 of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-36 (“CARES Act”) prohibits the initiation of any eviction action before July 25, 2020 against residential tenants of federally-assisted housing based upon non-payment of rent. In determining whether the Justice of the Peace Court can accept an eviction filing, the Court will have to assess whether the federal moratorium applies to each situation. In order to make this assessment, the Court needs to have documentation from the plaintiff showing that the property is not covered by the federal moratorium.

Due to the stay on processing any landlord tenant matters, the filings that are pending on E-Flex that have credit card authorizations over 10 days old have expired.

To address the backlog of cases that is anticipated due to the Court operating under COVID-19 restrictions, the Court will offer alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation. In order for the Court to proceed with these options, additional contact information for both parties is needed. Filing forms have been revised to now include the request for this additional information.

How to refile:

When the Governor lifts the prohibition and permits summary possession actions to be filed, you may resubmit your filing provided that the action is not prohibited by the CARES Act federal moratorium. If your case is subject to the CARES Act, please review the prohibitions and notice requirements of the Act.

To file for summary possession, you must include the following:

  • Newly Updated Civil Complaint Form 01 (rev. 5/11/2020)
  • Any relevant letters of demand
  • Form 50 (when applicable)
  • Civil Form 71 (Affidavit in Support of Compliance with the CARES Act) and all supporting documents
  • Telephone numbers and email addresses for all parties need to be provided in order to be able to take advantage of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) or an online hearing
  • You may also include a copy of your rejection notice to inform the Court of the date you first attempted to submit this filing. The Court will consider that date when scheduling a trial date.

What's next?

Please also be advised that the Court is working under COVID-19 restrictions with a heavy backlog of cases, resulting in extensive delays in the processing of filings. It is recommended that Landlords and Tenants discuss settlement terms that allow for tenants to remain in possession while working to settle their balances. Both Landlord and Tenant should consider the feasibility of the agreements. It is recommended that both parties explore State and Federal assistance programs that are available as a result of COVID-19.

If parties feel that an agreement may be reached but are requesting guidance from the Court through Mediation or an Alternative Dispute Resolution Process, request for such should be filed with the Court when your case is filed. This will allow for a faster resolution of your case at this time. We will be conducting hearings via Zoom as we address high volumes of filings. When you refile, please indicate on the filing availability of the landlord and/or tenant to participate virtually and include email address information.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused but greatly appreciate your continued support as we work through this unprecedented time.

Interest of Justice Requirements on Writs of Possession

To All Landlord Tenant Filers:

The 23rd modification of the Governor’s Declared State of Emergency issued on June 30, 2020 holds that evictions applied for after March 13, 2020 shall be stayed unless the Court determines on its own motion or upon motion of the parties that enforcement of the Writ is necessary in the interest of justice. Therefore, landlords who applied for a Writ of Possession after March 13, 2020 and who are seeking to move forward with eviction must include with the application a motion advising the Court why enforcement of the Writ is necessary in the interest of justice. If the landlord’s eviction request was filed with the Court prior to this announcement, the landlord must supply a motion requesting that the Court move forward with the eviction substantiating why doing so is in the interest of justice. The Court shall review all such motions filed and rule as to whether the interest of justice is served in advancing the Writ.

Justice of the Peace Court