SC Supreme Court postpones most evictions until May 15, some longer

SC Supreme Court postpones most evictions until May 15, some longer
While tenants cannot currently be evicted, this is not a free pass to simply not pay rent. (Source: WAFB)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A new order from the chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court has postponed court proceedings on evictions and foreclosures for two more weeks in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

An initial order paused evictions until May 1. Now, most will wait until May 15.

Chief Justice Donald Beatty has said the order does not mean people can avoid paying rent. If they fail to pay rent, an eviction may proceed once the postponement has passed.

That also goes for people paying mortgages, as foreclosures may also resume May 15.

One exemption to this order is property that falls under the federal CARES Act, Beatty noted.

The CARES Act protects tenants who live in rental properties or homes with “federal assistance or federally related financing.” That includes the following: “public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, rural housing programs, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.”

Those residents are protected from eviction and foreclosure until Aug. 23, 2020.

Any eviction filed on a property protected by the federal order will be thrown out.

Once eligible eviction proceedings resume in South Carolina on May 15, Beatty said in-person hearings will be staggered to limit the number of people in courtrooms and to allow cleaning in between hearings.

Also, anyone attending an in-person hearing can be ordered by the judge to wear a mask under the order.

“Judges should not hold in-person hearings if doing so unreasonably risks the health of judicial staff or litigants,” the order adds.

Remote, virtual hearings may also be held. To read the full order, click or tap here.

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