The California Judicial Council voted Thursday for temporary bans on evictions and some foreclosures to end on Sept. 1 -- a move that could result in people being forced out of their homes.
In April, the council adopted emergency rules temporarily prohibiting evictions and judicial foreclosure proceedings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But council members say they still haven't received clear policy proposals or solutions to deal with evictions and foreclosures as the pandemic continues.
"The judicial branch cannot usurp the responsibility of the other two branches on a long-term basis to deal with the myriad impacts of the pandemic," state Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said on Tuesday.
The council voted 10-1 on Thursday to rescind the emergency rules it adopted in April that Cantil-Sakauye extended in June.
The Eviction Defense Collaborative, a legal organization that advocates for tenants, predicted that the council's vote will result in a "tsunami of evictions," leaving millions of Californians homeless.
The group demonstrated outside the State Building at 455 Golden Gate Ave. to protest the council's decision.
"We are grateful that the Judicial Council took this extraordinary step to protect litigants, court personnel, the judiciary, and the general public," the collaborative said in a statement. "Unfortunately, ... (w)e can no more afford the consequences of mass evictions today than we could in April or May."
State lawmakers are working on bills to help keep tenants safe from evictions amid the pandemic, but the collaborative's litigation and policy director, Cary Gold, said they may be too late -- and that could lay the groundwork for a public health crisis as the flu season begins.