An eviction reprieve in Phoenix area could depend on the judge

Corrections & Clarifications: The story was updated to more accurately detail the timeline for evictions in West Mesa Justice Court. The story also corrects the name of Kyrene Justice Sharron Sauls.

Phoenix-area renters struggling to avoid eviction during the coronoavirus crisis may not all get reprieves.

It will depend on where they live, and the justice of the peace hearing their cases.

Eight of the 26 Valley justices hearing evictions in Maricopa County have agreed to delay them until the end of March or longer.

Seven justices have said it will be pretty much business as usual for eviction hearings.

The other 11 haven’t committed, according to research from the Maricopa County Justice Courts.

The Arizona Supreme Court gave the courts authorization Monday night to suspend mandatory timelines on eviction hearings. By law, eviction hearings are supposed to take place within five to 10 days of filing.

Nearly 2,000 Valley residents are facing losing their homes to eviction now, according to court filings.

That number could jump quickly because a growing number of people are losing incomes as their workplaces close temporarily or they need to stay home with children since Arizona schools are closed.

“In Arizona, because of our short (eviction) timelines, aid to individuals is not coming quickly enough,” said Pamela Bridge, director of Advocacy and Litigation at Community Legal Services. “We had an eviction crisis before COVID-19.”


AUTHORS: Catherine Reagor and Paula Pineda

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