PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Following an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Rhode Island District Court issued new protocols for evictions on Friday.
Effective immediately and lasting through Dec. 31, 2020, the order prevents tenants from being evicted for nonpayment of rent, according to a news release from the R.I. Judiciary.
The order does not relieve tenants of their obligation to pay rent, however. To receive federal protection, tenants must file a “declaration” with their landlord or property owner at any time during the process.
If a landlord receives a declaration during a pending hearing, it will await reassignment after the order expires. If a hearing is scheduled, once a landlord receives a declaration, it is their responsibility to notify the court and cancel the hearing.
The order only replies to cases involving nonpayment of rent, and evictions for other reasons may proceed.
Additionally, the Rhode Island courts announced the McGrath Judicial Complex in Wakefield and the Murray Judicial Complex in Newport will reopen on Tuesday.
At both courthouses, the number of scheduled hearings will be reduced, crowds will be limited, social distancing will be encouraged and verbal health screenings will take place.