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Legal Aid of North Carolina: Evictions resume, there’s a backlog of cases

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a temporary ban that was put in place due to the pandemic.
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - People who have fallen on hard times are once again at risk of losing their homes as evictions resume across the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a temporary ban that was put in place due to the pandemic.

Isaac Sturgill with Legal Aid of North Carolina says a lot of the evictions for nonpayment were delayed due to the moratorium.

He says there’s a backlog of cases in the courts and those have to be heard in addition to the new filings.

In a statement to our news partners at the Charlotte Observer, a spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg courts reportedly said new eviction filings won’t make it to a courtroom before at least October.

Sturgill says, also complicating matters is Mecklenburg county has legitimate safety concerns about COVID-19.

“During typical times we could see something like up to 200 cases scheduled on a 1-hour docket,” said Sturgill. “. . . There is a concern about overcrowding and that if the courts are jam-packed and if there’s not social distancing that could lead to increased spread of the virus.”

He says, landlords who have filed cases can have them scheduled now and they’ll most likely move forward on the trial date.

He says, tenants may get a little more time before their trial date because of the back log and the precautions the court is taking but with the moratorium gone, the case will move forward.

The hope is that tenants will take advantage of this time to apply for rental assistance.

Ramp CLT and Crisis Assistance Ministry are just some resources available for assistance.

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