Maricopa County constables await guidance for possible evictions

Dec 24, 2020, 6:05 AM | Updated: 7:22 am

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The majority of residential evictions in Arizona and across the country have been on hold since early September due to the pandemic, but the federal order preventing them expires next week.

Now Maricopa County constables, the elected law enforcement officials who handle evictions, are waiting to see what guidance comes next. Presiding Constable Mark Brannum told KTAR News 92.3 FM Wednesday they have been monitoring if Congress will extend the moratorium into the new year, and how the county and state would implement it.

“We’re also waiting to see if the new administration is going to take additional steps to either build a new process or build on the current CDC process that is currently in place,” Brannum said.

However, Brannum explains the order has only impacted those with hardships due to the pandemic who met certain requirements.

“If it’s not COVID related, life has been normal,” Brannum said “Evictions happen in Maricopa County and throughout the state of Arizona literally every day and they have since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Brannum adds in most cases landlords, tenants, attorneys and the court system work together to find solutions that avoid evictions since “there are never any winners in an eviction case.”

The federal halt prevented persons from being evicted for nonpayment of rent from Sept. 4 through Dec. 31. The order was used as a mitigation strategy to prevent people from becoming homeless, forcing them into congregate or shared living settings.

In late March, Gov. Doug Ducey signed Arizona’s own moratorium on evictions but those protections ended October.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

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Maricopa County constables await guidance for possible evictions