20
Mar

Texas Supreme Courts Halts Evictions Due to COVID-19

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS

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Misc. Docket No. 20-9045

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FOURTH EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING

THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER

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ORDERED that:

1. Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in all 254 counties in the State of

Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is issued pursuant

to Section 22.0035(b) of the Texas Government Code.

2. This Order supplements and does not replace or amend the First, Second, or Third

Emergency Orders Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster.

3. In any action for eviction to recover possession of residential property under

Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code and Rule 510 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure:

a. No trial, hearing, or other proceeding may be conducted, and all deadlines

are tolled, until after April 19, 2020;

b. A writ of possession may issue, but the posting of the written warning

required by § 24.0061(d)(1) of the Property Code and the execution of the writ of

possession may not occur until after April 26, 2020, and the deadlines in Rules 510.8(d)(1)-

(d)(2) are tolled while this Order remains in effect; and

c. New filings may be accepted, but the time period in Rule 510.4(a)(10) is

suspended, and issuance and service of citation may not occur until after April 19, 2020.

4. A case covered by Paragraph 3 may nevertheless proceed if, but only if:

a. The plaintiff files a “Sworn Complaint for Forcible Detainer for Threat to

Person or For Cause”;

b. The court determines that the facts and grounds for eviction stated in the

Complaint, under oath with personal knowledge, taken as true, show that the actions of the

tenant, or the tenant’s household members or guests, pose an imminent threat of (i) physical

harm to the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s employees, or other tenants, or (ii) criminal activity;

and

c. The court signs an order stating procedures for the case to proceed.

5. This Order is effective immediately and expires April 19, 2020, unless extended by

the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

6. The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to:

a. post a copy of this Order on www.txcourts.gov;

b. file a copy of this Order with the Secretary of State; and

c. send a copy of this Order to the Governor, the Attorney General, and each

member of the Legislature.

7. The State Bar of Texas is directed to take all reasonable steps to notify members of

the Texas bar of this Order.

 

Dated: March 19, 2020