New York suspends eviction proceedings indefinitely amid coronavirus pandemic

Mohammed Awal Mar 18, 2020 at 02:30pm

March 18, 2020 at 02:30 pm | News

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

March 18, 2020 at 02:30 pm | News

The move follows petitions by Housing Justice for All—a coalition of tenants’ rights groups calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Janet DiFiore. Image: Business Insider

Officials in New York have indefinitely suspended eviction proceedings amid the coronavirus scourge.

This comes as more than 100 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in New York City on Tuesday.

At least, there are 923 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the city, up from 814 reported cases earlier Tuesday.

“It’s unbelievable how rapidly this crisis is growing right now,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on MSNBC Tuesday night.

“I didn’t even know by the time I got to your show there would be 100 more people, but what I said earlier today is this is moving very fast,” de Blasio said. “We should all be very concerned about how we find a way to slow the trajectory of this virus.”

“The idea of shelter in place has to be considered now. It has to be with between in our case the city and state working together,” he added.

New York’s Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Malks said in a memo that starting Tuesday, eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders will be suspended statewide, until further notice. 

The judge’s rule will apply to all evictions, including commercial evictions, The Real Deal reported.

Last week the state’s lawmakers introduced legislation to enact a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during New York’s coronavirus outbreak. 

The move follows petitions by Housing Justice for All—a coalition of tenants’ rights groups calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Janet DiFiore to issue an eviction moratorium amid the state’s outbreak, Curbed New York reported.

“Housing is health care,” the outlet quoted Housing Justice for All spokesperson Cea Weaver saying. “We’re having a public health emergency, and the reality is that it’s really critical that we have housing security for the people who are most vulnerable to this.”

“We’re worried about folks having trouble paying the rent,” de Blasio added at a news conference Thursday. “Our goal here is to not only avoid the kinds of evictions that would happen because people are losing their livelihood in this crisis, but actually freeze up evictions as much as humanly possible.”

At least 112 people have died since the first US case of the coronavirus was reported in January.

Meanwhile, all federal courthouse employees in Manhattan who haven’t been directed to work have been placed on administrative leave, CNN has reported.

“To protect public health, and in recognition of the national emergency that was declared by the President of the United States on March 13, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, in accordance with all applicable leave regulations and guidelines, hereby places all employees of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York who have not been directed to work, either at the courthouses or remotely, on administrative leave, retroactive to March 9, 2020,” the outlet quoted an order by chief judge for the Southern District of New York Colleen McMahon as saying.

Also, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson postponed all municipal elections previously scheduled for April 7. They will now be held on June 2.

“Given the growing concern surrounding COVID-19 and the large number of people elections attract, postponing Missouri’s municipal elections is a necessary step to help combat the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of Missouri voters,” Parson said.

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