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San Diego Sheriff's Department pulls back on resuming evictions

Posted at 2:40 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 20:39:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday the department would not resume serving court-ordered evictions.

In a previous statement, sheriff’s officials said the department’s Civil Division had about 160 evictions in progress before the pandemic forced the temporary closure of the branch.

According to sheriff’s officials, the evictions do not apply to anyone “dealing with financial hardships directly created by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Those residents affected by the pandemic are protected by the California evictions moratorium (which took effect March 27) and San Diego County order on evictions (which took effect March 24).

Later Thursday, SDSO said after talking with several elected officials, who "agree serving these evictions are perfectly legal," they will suspend eviction service due to "expressed concerns about the impact."

SDSO added that they would continue to discuss the matter further.

The state and San Diego moratoriums both end May 31.

Officials added, “As deputies begin to return to their regular assignments, the Civil Division will resume evictions that were in effect prior to the pandemic. In preparation to resume these evictions, deputies visited each location where a pending lockout was previously posted and delivered flyers that explained the process to the occupants. Whenever possible, the deputies sought out the tenants and explained their need to vacate. The occupants were given a courtesy five-day notice to vacate.”

Sheriff’s officials noted that “approximately 30 of the evictions have been cancelled by property owners that have already taken peaceful possession or stayed by order of the court" and that they would direct tenants with concerns about COVID-19 related illness "to the regional COVID-19 housing resources.”