TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas Supreme Court has halted all eviction proceedings in the state through late April.
“This decision by the Texas Supreme Court offers a lifeline to many Texans who are beginning to feel the economic impact of COVID-19,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. “Temporarily suspending residential eviction proceedings will provide Texans whose personal income has been affected by the spread of this virus with greater flexibility to meet their housing needs and provide for their families. I thank the Texas Supreme Court for its swift action on this matter.”
The order notes that while filings can still be submitted, no trial, hearing, or other eviction proceeding may be conducted until after April 19. The order is effective immediately, and can be extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
“Evictions move pretty fast in Texas. In this office we see several hundred a year. Other precincts in Tyler, in the southern part of Tyler, they see two to three times that a year,” Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5 of Smith County, Texas, Jon W. Johnson said.
Exceptions will be made if the court determines that a tenant or occupant’s actions pose an imminent threat of physical harm to a landlord, their employees or other tenants, or if tenants are engaging in criminal activity, according to the order.
The emergency order is the Texas Supreme Court’s fourth following Abbott’s declaration of a state of disaster last week, and it came just hours after Abbott issued an executive order that temporarily closed Texas schools and gyms, restricted dining-in at restaurants and bars, restricted visits to nursing homes and limited social gatherings to no more than 10 people through April 3.