Eviction filing ban to end on Sunday; enforcement actions still prohibited until the end of the month
Housing providers may begin filing evictions against “covered persons,” or those negatively impacted by COVID-19, on Aug. 1 as long as the landlord includes the required documentation.
But the governor’s latest Executive Order (EO), issued late Friday, only begins to remove the restrictions on the eviction process that have been in place for over a year. It still prohibits law enforcement from enforcing eviction against those tenants deemed “Covered Persons.” The remaining provisions of the moratorium, including those that prohibit law enforcement from enforcing eviction Orders, will continue through the month of August. The Governor has indicated the moratorium will be lifted completely by the end of August.
In addition to the changes and timeline contained in Governor J.B. Pritzker’s latest EO, the Illinois Supreme Court recently set procedural rules and guidelines to assist the Courts in processing eviction cases that may result when the moratorium ends.
In its July 15th Order, the Court states, beginning August 1, the filing of a complaint in any eviction case must be accompanied by a certification form (included in the Order as Appendix A), entitled Plaintiff’s Certification for Exemption from 30-Day Stay. In other words, if the housing provider believes that their case qualifies to be exempted from the Court’s 30-day stay, the housing provider checks the appropriate boxes clarifying to a Court why the eviction proceeding should move towards enforcement because the tenant is NOT a Covered Person subject to “protection” from enforcement for an additional 30 days (during the month of August).
There also are other procedural provisions within the Illinois Supreme Court Order that housing providers and/or tenants should discuss with their attorneys. Finally, the Illinois Supreme Court Order contains a September 1, 2021 end date.
Reading the most recent EO together with the Supreme Court’s Order, Illinois REALTORS® interprets these directives to mean that, when filing an eviction case, a housing provider must file the form (Appendix A), and if they believe their case meets one of the requirements on the form to be exempted from the 30-day stay, allowing their case to proceed immediately, they should check the appropriate box. If they do not believe they meet such requirements, the boxes should be left unchecked. While this is Illinois REALTORS® interpretation, it is important for housing providers to check with their attorneys prior to filing for specific legal advice regarding individual cases.
In short, the latest EO combined with the upcoming Illinois Supreme Court requirements, will allow evictions to be filed against Covered Persons beginning August 1st, so long as the housing provider includes the required documentation (Appendix A) with its filing. Also, housing providers should check specific filing requirements where they intend to file, as County and Circuit Court requirements may vary.