NM Supreme Court will not expand eviction moratorium | KOB 4

NM Supreme Court will not expand eviction moratorium

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: January 07, 2021 10:24 PM
Created: January 07, 2021 06:38 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The New Mexico Supreme Court will not be expanding its eviction moratorium order despite calls from legal advocacy groups.

The State Supreme Court moratorium protects New Mexicans from eviction for non-payment of rent, but as KOB 4 first reported in early December, New Mexicans sent a letter to the New Mexico Supreme Court asking them to close a loophole that allows for landlords to remove tenants from their homes by not renewing their lease.

Kyle Stephens is one of the concerned tenants.

"We have been through hell the last two years," Stephens said. "After losing our house, living in and out of motels. We finally found this place and this place is great!" 

Stephens said his landlord first tried to evict him for not paying rent. When they abandoned that effort, he said they gave him a 60-day notice when the lease expired.

He's not alone.

"I can tell you we're overwhelmed. We turn away so many cases," said Tom Prettyman, managing attorney for Albuquerque's New Mexico Legal Aid Office, one of the groups that signed the letter asking for a change to the NM Supreme Court order.

Prettyman also said there have been changes to the Centers for Disease Control halt on evictions that happened when the latest COVID relief package was signed.

"The CDC has amended that declaration, they did in the last week or so, to add a paragraph that clarifies a landlord is still allowed to file in court, to challenge the contents of the declaration," Prettyman said.

The declaration can now be challenged by landlords in court.

None of which does anything to change the outcome for people like Stephens.

"Judge told us to give us until January 7th, so that's where we're at," he said. "And I have nowhere to go." 

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