The Monterey Superior Court is in the process of updating our FAQ's in light of recent Federal and State changes to the law. The Emergency California Rules on Evictions, Foreclosures enacted by the Judicial Council of California (JCC) on April 1, 2020 expired at midnight on September 1, 2020. Please see updated information below.
Q-1: Is there anyone that can help me pay for unpaid rent during Covid-19 and how can I apply?
A: Yes, there is rental assistance available. Monterey County SB91 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will distribute $28 million of rent and utility assistance to low-income eligible households located in Monterey County that are facing housing instability due to direct or indirect financial impact from the COVID-19 crisis. This support is not a loan and eligible tenants receiving this rental and/or utility support are not required or expected to pay it back. Please go to https://housing.ca.gov/ and contact the United Way of Monterey County to find out more about the program and apply https://www.unitedwaymcca.org/county-rent-and-utility
Q-2: Are all unlawful detainer (eviction) cases stopped as a result of Covid-19 emergency orders?
A: Most, but not all, will be paused or suspended.
Missed payment(s) between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020: Landlords may not seek eviction for payments missed due to Covid-19 factors.
Missed payment(s) between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021: Landlord may seek eviction. However, the tenant may provide a written declaration under penalty of perjury to the landlord that the missed payment were due to Covid-19 financial distress. If that declaration is made the landlord must allow until September 30, 2021 for the tenant to make a 25% payment of the debt owed. Landlord may seek eviction if that payment is not made.
Tenants are entitled to a 15-day notice to pay or quit for rent due between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. The 15 day notice period does not include holidays or weekends.
Disputes between landlords and tenants regarding unpaid rent for the time period between March 1, 2020, and September, 2021 may be litigated in small claims court. The small claims action may be filed starting October 1, 2021.
The Federal CDC order prohibits landlords for evicting tenants from residential property due to non-payment of rent before December 31, 2020. The tenant must provide a required written declaration under penalty of perjury to the landlord. Please see attachment portion of the CDC order (US CDC Eviction Order) for an example of the required written declaration. The missed payments are still owed to the landlord and due on January 31, 2021.
Q-3: IF AN EVICTION IS PAUSED BY THESE TEMPORARY ORDERS, DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE TENANT DOES NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY RENT FOR THE PERIOD THAT THE EVICTION WAS SUSPENDED?
A: No. Nothing in the orders relieves a tenant from the obligation or liability to pay rent.
Q-4: HOW CAN I FILE PAPERS WITH THE COURT?
A: You can file your papers electronically (online) or by depositing the documents at the drop box outside any courthouse. If you need to file an Answer (or response) to an Unlawful Detainer Complaint, you can use the Guide and File system found under the Self-Help tab and accessed by this link. You may also contact the Self-Help Center for information at (831)-647-5800 X 3005 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q-5: IF THE COURT HAS ALREADY ISSUED AN ORDER EVICTING A TENANT (WRIT of POSSESSION), CAN AN ORDER FOR STAY OF EVICTION BE OBTAINED?
A: A stay may be requested electronically (online). A judge will review the request.
A stay request, may also be submitted to the Courthouse at 1200 Aguajito Rd., Monterey, CA 93940 or the drop box at any location. You may request the forms in person if you are not able to access them online. Drop box and US Mail are currently being processed next day, not same day. (Note: use of the Drop Box locations at Salinas and Marina locations may add one additional day to court processing and review.)
A Request for Stay is an extraordinary remedy and must be submitted AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after a residence is posted by the Monterey County Sheriff's Office. Please allow at least 48 hours for the processing of any request by the Court.