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Richmond Pauses All Evictions Amid Global Pandemic

Front edifice of a Courthouse
Evictions have been suspended in Richmond as the city grapples with coronavirus. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Richmond General District Court Judge Lawrence Cann issued an order Monday halting all evictions in the city. This comes as an effort to help residents who might be facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order will extend the deadline for writs of eviction until April 6, or for the duration of the judicial emergency period declared by Virginia’s Supreme Court last week.

Christie Marra, director of housing advocacy at the Virginia Poverty Law Center, said there are concerns because other local governments don’t have these protections for their residents. One example she gave is Loudoun County, where eviction judgements and writs are still being granted — and in turn sheriffs are putting people out of their homes.

“The sheriffs are not moving forward with writs because they want to, but because they feel as if they don't have another choice,” Marra said.

Under state law, writs of eviction expire after 30 days.

Marra said that legal aid offices across the state are working with sheriffs on ways to get similar orders passed in other localities.