Information About Evictions during the Covid-19 Crisis
As of 3/20/20, ALL eviction orders (called “executions”) issued by housing courts in CT have been stayed through May 1st. This means that a state marshal cannot serve you with an “execution” eviction order, physically remove you or your belongings from your apartment, or change your locks before May 1st.* We hope this stay will be extended for several months, until the crisis is over. We will keep the community up-to-date on its status.
The CT Superior Court has placed a limited moratorium on eviction actions (“summary process”). This means:
1. Your landlord can still serve you with court papers and file a new eviction case, but the court IS NOT holding hearings or trials until further notice.
2. The court is not entering eviction judgments or eviction orders (called “executions").
3. There will not be any hearing or trial dates until further notice.
4. State marshals cannot serve eviction orders (called “executions”), physically remove tenants or tenants’ belongings from their apartment, or change their locks before at least May 1st. (We do not know if this date will get extended.)
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR TENANTS:
1. THE LANDLORD CAN NEVER LOCK YOU OUT. This means anything from changing the locks, removing a door or windows, moving out your belongings, turning off utilities, or anything that interferes with your tenancy.*
2. A STATE MARSHAL CANNOT SERVE YOU WITH AN “EXECUTION” EVICTION ORDER, PHYSICALLY REMOVE YOU OR YOUR BELONGINGS FROM YOUR APARTMENT, OR CHANGE YOUR LOCKS BEFORE May 1st.*
3. Your landlord can still serve you with a Notice to Quit. A Notice to Quit DOES NOT mean you have to move by the date in the notice—it means that if you do not move by that date, the landlord still has to file an eviction action.
4. The landlord can still serve you with a Summons and Complaint (the next step in the eviction process) and file it with the Court, but the court will not enter a default judgment if you cannot file your appearance for now. (We are not sure when the court might begin to enter defaults again in the future.)
* If a state marshal attempts to physically remove you or your belongings from your apartment before May 1st, or if your landlord ever attempts to lock you out, here’s what you can do:
- You can show the state marshal this copy of the court order staying executions through May 1, 2020.
- If you feel safe calling the police, you have a right to call the police and ask them to order your landlord to let you back into your apartment.
- You can call your town or city housing code enforcement office.
- You can call Statewide Legal Services at 800-453-3320 or 800-453-3320 for legal help and information.
- You have a right to file a lockout lawsuit asking the court to order your landlord to let you back in, although it may be difficult to do so during the current crisis.
The Superior Court is still hearing emergency lockout cases, but only a few courthouses are open and entrance is limited to individuals filing these cases and few other types of emergency cases. To learn where to file and what other cases you can file in person right now, please refer to the following map and list: https://www.jud.ct.gov/directory/maps/JD, https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/CourthousesOpened.pdf.
We recommend calling the clerk’s office before you visit to confirm they are open.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TENANT’S RIGHTS IN CONNECTICUT, PLEASE VISIT https://ctlawhelp.org/en/evictions-process-laws-connecticut and https://ctlawhelp.org/en/coronavirus.
If you think you have a legal issue and would like more advice, please call Statewide Legal Services at 800-453-3320.