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June 30, 2021
Late yesterday afternoon, news broke that the NC Council of State voted NOT to authorize the Governor to extend his Executive Order #171  "Assisting North Carolinians at Risk of Eviction." The Governor has indicated that he will not override the Council's decision and issue his own further extension, so today is the last day the Order (which had been extended several times since its issuance) will remain in effect.


What does this mean for our NC clients?

  • There is no longer an obligation to provide a blank CDC Declaration form prior to filing a Complaint in Summary Ejectment, and no accompanying Affidavit must be submitted to the Court
  • The "One CDC Declaration per Household" rule is no longer in effect - under the CDC Order, only a tenant who provides their own Declaration is protected from being evicted; this standard will now revert back to being the "law of the land" in NC, as well. (i.e. If ALL tenants do not submit a CDC Declaration, then for cases filed starting tomorrow, there is nothing that prohibits a lockout of the tenants who did not provide their own Declarations.)
  • The 5 day deadline to notify the Court of receipt of a CDC Declaration will no longer be the rule. (NOTE: we still advise notifying your attorneys of ALL CDC Declarations received and our Team will continue to inquire about them at every stage of the process, to try and prevent any from slipping through the cracks)
  • CDC Challenge Hearings - it remains unclear how the Courts will handle CDC Challenge hearings going forward. What is clear is that the obligation to submit a written response to a CDC Declaration that you would like to challenge has ended and the obligation to have a separate hearing on the CDC Challenge may also have ended - this will likely be further clarified in the days ahead, so stay tuned for more information on this front.
  • and finally, the HOPE Program protections will end today, as well: the Governor's requirement that Landlords must treat all applicants who received confirmation from the HOPE program of the acceptance of an application as if they were protected by a CDC Declaration will expire, also. Starting tomorrow, then, only the Landlord's Agreement to accept rental housing assistance will affect the Landlord's ability to move ahead with a needed eviction case. (Reminder: all Landlord's Agreements for acceptance of Rental Assistance payments typically include provisions that restrict your ability to seek eviction of the tenant who is receiving the assistance. Please provide these Agreements to your attorneys in every instance for our review!)

And one final word - late yesterday, a divided US Supreme Court ruled that it would NOT alter the ruling of the DC Circuit Court that allows the CDC Order to remain in effect while the legal case challenging it is being appealed. The ruling includes language from a majority of the Justices, however, that the CDC exceeded its authority in issuing the Order. That means that if the CDC tried to "go back on its word" that the extension through July 31st would be the last extension, specific approval from Congress would be required. So, it is safe to say that the CDC Declarations, and their protection of eligible tenants from being locked out, will be with us for another 30 days. But we now have more confidence in saying that Declarations should have no further force and effect come Aug. 1st.

Thank you for your continued trust and business. We will send additional updates as information becomes available. 
 
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Loebsack & Brownlee, PLLC · Post Office Box 30247 · Charlotte, NC 28230 · USA