***Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-14 on Monday, March 23rd that halts evictions in Minnesota. The full text of the Order is not yet available but this notice will be updated as soon as further details are known. Until then, please direct clients to follow the directions below***
The Minnesota Judicial Branch has put in place some directives in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Of direct relevance to those working in homelessness prevention are the court’s restrictions impacting evictions and foreclosures. Additionally, HUD has issued guidance related to foreclosures and evictions for single family homes with FHA-backed mortgages.
On Friday, March 20th, the Court issued new guidance on court proceedings, including evictions. This supersedes the previous March 13th order that had delayed most eviction filings for up to 14 days.
What types of eviction actions are impacted by this order?
- The current Court guidance directs that expedited evictions will continue to have in-person hearings at courthouses. Expedited evictions are those where the tenant is alleged to have committed illegal activities on the property or is alleged to be a threat to the safety of other residents or the property of the landlord or other tenants.
- All other eviction actions (nonpayment of rent, overstaying a notice to vacate, etc.) will have hearings held remotely by ITV or phone at the discretion of the court.
- Courts are still accepting filings for all types of cases.
What should MACV Veterans do next?
If a Veteran has a court date scheduled prior to March 30th, advise them to contact the Court Administrator in the county of the case and ask if the court date has been postponed or canceled. They should call now and once a week until they get guidance from the court (we have spoken with some court admins who don’t have the answer yet). You can find a directory of Court Administration contacts online at: http://www.mncourts.gov/Emergency.aspx
- If the veteran has not been informed that their court date is delayed or canceled, they should attend court.
- If your clients have questions about their legal case or are seeking legal counsel, refer them to Vetlaw at 651-200-4750 – we are open for business and responding remotely to veterans. We are not staffing our office, so veterans need to call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Many other legal cases are impacted by the Court’s March 16th order; for more information visit the court website at www.mncourts.gov or call the Vetlaw program at 1-651-200-4750.
On March 18th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on single family homes with FHA-backed mortgages. This applies to homeowners and not renters. The moratorium is currently set to last for 60 days.
If this is just for homeowners, why does it mention evictions? In Minnesota, after a homeowner loses their property to foreclosure, they must be evicted to remove them from the property if they have not already left.
- This applies to new foreclosure and eviction filings as well as those pending or in-process.
- If a veteran has a court date scheduled, they should follow the guidance above and contact the appropriate court to determine if their case has been delayed or rescheduled. If they have a court date set and the court administrator informs them that it has not been delayed or rescheduled, they need to attend the court hearing.