Broward Residential Evictions Restart June 3, 2020 (Extended to August 1, 2020)

toates Business Law, Landlord Tenant, Real Estate

Update: June 30, 2020 at 8:10 p.m. Governor Desantis issued executive order (20-159) extending Executive Order 20-94 (as extended by Executive Order 20- 121) until 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2020. We are still experiencing issues with the clerk’s office refusing to issue writs and some judicial divisions not signing orders for obtaining judgments and writs on non-residential evictions and those not involving non-payment issues.

Update: June 1, 2020 at 7:06 p.m. Governor Desantis issued an executive order (20-137) extending Executive Order 20-94 (as extended by Executive Order 20- 121) until 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2020. This extension applies to residential properties for non-payment of rent. The Federal Cares Act legislation also remains in effect. Commercial Evictions and residential evictions that are not based on a termination for non-payment of rent are not affected by the Governor’s extension.

On May 28, 2020, the 17th Judicial Circuit’s Chief Judge, Hon. Jack Tutor, issued Amended Administrative Order (AO) 2020-39-CO / 2020-40-Civ (Defaults, Writs of Garnishment, and Evictions and Writs of Possession).  The order reopens residential eviction proceedings in Broward County.

Effective June 3, 2020, the Clerk of the Court will begin processing defaults and issuing writs of possession as permitted by law. The AO further suspends the Rule 1.580(a) “forthwith” requirement, meaning clerks are not required to expedite the issuance of said writs. The AO adds a new requirement that residential landlords must file a verification of compliance with the Cares Act which is still in effect until July 25, 2020 (120 days from March 27, 2020). Please refer to our prior blog article (click here) for more information about the specifics of the Cares Act.

The verification of compliance with the Cares Act requires that the Plaintiff sign a verified statement as to the following facts:

  • The Plaintiff is not a multifamily borrower currently receiving a forbearance under the Cares Act for the property which is the subject of the eviction.
  • The eviction is for a reason other than nonpayment of rent
  • The action involves a commercial property, or does not involve a rental property that participates in federal assistance programs, and is not encumbered by a federally backed mortgage loan.

The verified statement is in the nature of an affidavit, although does not require notarization. It contains an acknowledgment that “any material misrepresentation could cause … prosecution of a separate criminal law violation” and shall be signed under penalty of perjury. The verification cannot be signed by the filing attorney or property manager, it must be signed by an owner or an officer of the owning entity.

For the entire text of the order please follow this link (2020-39-CO_2020-40-Civ_amended). The full AO contains a written definition of “covered dwelling” and the form of the verified statement that must be filed. The provisions of this AO apply to any residential eviction case based on non-payment filed on or after March 27, 2020, and shall automatically expire on July 28, 2020, unless amended or extended.

The purpose of this article is to provide you a summary of the most up-to-date information available concerning developments concerning landlords in the State of Florida and more specifically, in Broward County. The author will attempt to keep this article up to date with additional information as it becomes available, but as the current state of affairs is a constantly evolving and fluid situation, you should refer to the sources cited herein for specific information. This is not intended to be a substitute for proper legal advice based on your specific facts and circumstances.

A portion of our practice at Pompano Law is the representation of commercial and residential property owners. If you are a property owner in need of legal counsel, please feel free to reach out to us.