The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department announced on Wednesday, April 15 that the department will extend the current moratorium on tenant evictions from Friday, April 17 through Friday, May 1 of this year.

The existing moratorium went into effect at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, when the Sheriff’s Department elected to suspend the execution of “Writs of Possession”– court documents that authorize the sheriff to evict a tenant based on a prior legal judgment entered in favor of a landlord, often issued in Small Claims Court.

The decision to suspend evictions in the county was made by Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers last month after the chief justice of the NC Supreme Court issued an order stating the following: “Extension of Time and Periods of Limitation… I [Chief Justice Cheri Beasley] further order that all other acts that were or are due to be done in any county of this state on or after 16 March 2020 and before the close of business on 17 April 2020 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed to be timely done if they are done before the close of business on 17 April 2020.”

Chief Justice Beasley’s extension was set to expire on Friday, April 17. However, on Monday, April 13, Beasley issued a new order that extended the previous termination date.

Also, in Executive Order No. 124, issued on the last day of March, NC Governor Roy Cooper stated the following: “[The Governor] and Attorney General strongly encourage sheriffs to delay, until regular court operations resume, the execution of any Writs of Possession . . . that have already been issued, consistent with the spirit of the [Chief Justice’s March 19 Order] and in support of public health and public safety.”

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department stated that it won’t execute or enforce existing tenant evictions from April 17 through May 1, 2020.  

Recently, local, state and federal governments have implemented all sorts of moves to help people in financial distress due to the coronavirus pandemic.