Dallas County constable reinforces removal steps after ‘unlawful’ eviction of Dallas mother of three
A Dallas County officer assures residents of east and west Dallas that his office will be evictions for non-payment of rent during the pandemic “in accordance with the guidelines of the Texas Supreme Court and the CDC” just days after the Dallas report Morning news about an eviction treat will be a Dallas mother of three.
Dallas County Constable for District 5, Michael Orozco, did not specifically cite the eviction of Jonnay Mckinley in his statement Thursday, but he did “extensively” set out how MPs should deal with eviction cases in his jurisdiction. His office did not attend to the eviction, which was the subject of The News article.
“It is of the utmost importance to me that all laws / rules at the federal, state and local level are followed so that each side can pursue their legal and legal options and remedies accordingly and always remain impartial [and] fair to all concerned, ”said Orozco in the statement. “I would like to take this time to calm down all of my parts of my department’s procedures regarding evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
On Friday, 29-year-old Jonnay Mckinley and her three school-age children were evicted from their North Dallas apartment in Tribeca on the Creek because they were about a month and a half below rent.
Mckinley’s attorney, Mark Melton, said “the court, policeman and landlord all dropped the ball” because Mckinley provided a CDC declaration form to all parties involved in their removal prior to the eviction.
Dallas County Police Officer Ben Adamcik, whose District 3 office was involved in the eviction of Mckinley, said earlier this week that his office “had no information that a CDC statement was actually filed.” And the magistrate’s magistrate, Judge Al Cercone, told The News that his office received Mckinley’s statement, but he considered it the landlord’s responsibility to cancel the eviction.
When The News started asking questions about Mckinley’s eviction, the landlady considered her lease and restored it.
Orozco sent his written brief to all Precinct 5 MPs to reinforce how MPs should act when a resident claims federal protection under the orders of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If a tenant provides a copy of a CDC statement to MPs, Orozco said his office will “cease any move out of the tenant’s personal effects and the eviction process will halt … until the judicial tribunal reviews the statement”.
The police officer’s office will provide the magistrate’s magistrate with a copy of the CDC statement allowing a landlord to evict a tenant, he said. Once the court has reviewed the form, the landlord can request a hearing to challenge it. If the court determines the CDC statement holds, the Orozco office will suspend the eviction by March 31, when current protection expires “unless the date is further extended”.
In September, the CDC stopped evicting residential buildings across the country to halt the spread of COVID-19, calling the process “detrimental to public health control measures.” As per the order of the CDC, a renter must truthfully sign a declaration form stating that they have made every effort to make payments in order to be protected.
“If the court finds the tenant has failed to provide evidence of their CDC statement, the judicial court will issue an order authorizing my MPs to proceed with the eviction,” Orozco said.
The Texas Supreme Court’s 32nd Emergency Order in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic also states that upon receipt of the CDC’s statement, the judicial tribunal must “wind down evictions, including the issuing and enforcement of a deed”.