The California Judicial Council has enacted several Rules of Court related to COVID -19. Emergency rule 1 discusses unlawful detainer actions. This rule stays, or stops, all current, active unlawful detainer actions. The rule also prohibits the issuance of a summons on new unlawful detainer actions until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID -19 pandemic is lifted, or until the rule is amended or lifted by the Judicial Council. The only exceptions to this rule are cases where the unlawful detainer action is necessary public health and safety.
On March 27, 2020 President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“ CARES act”) into law. The CARES Act prohibits landlords of certain rental “covered dwellings” from initiating eviction proceedings or charging fees, penalties, or other charges. against a tenant for the nonpayment of rent. These protections extend until July 25, 2020 (120 days from enactment). The CARES act requires landlords of the same properties to provide tenants at least 30 days-notice before they, the tenants must vacate the property. It also bars those landlords from issuing a notice to vacate during the 120- day period. Thus the CARES act arguably prohibits landlords from being able to force a tenant to vacate a covered dwelling for nonpayment or any other reason until August 23, 2020 (i.e., 120 days after enactment, plus 30 days after notice is provided).