Courts in Boone and Callaway counties continue to work through a backlog of eviction cases one month after the suspended proceedings were restarted.
Kevin Crane, presiding judge for the 13th Judicial Circuit, issued an order suspending evictions in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The pandemic has led to staggering job losses amid an economic slowdown, leading some to have difficulty paying their rent.
The order stated that "it is not in the interest of the public health to displace persons from their residence at this time due to COVID-19 emergency."
Evictions started again June 1 as part of the court system's continued reopening.
Steve Scott with Scott Law firm PC, said in June he saw a backlog of cases that had been postponed because of the suspension.
"There were a whole bunch of cases in the pipeline so June was busy processing those cases," he said. "It usually takes a few weeks after you file a case before a court appearance, so May cases are just now coming up in hearings."
Marry Epping, the court administrator for the 13th Circuit, said it wasn't immediately clear how many evictions have been filed since June 1.
"In terms of the number of evictions that have happened after June 1, I don't have that number because they would have already been ordered," she said. "The judge could have ordered them before but they didn't happen until after June 1."
Sgt. Brian Leer from the Boone County Sheriff's Department, said the department received 27 evictions in just Boone County. The evictions received are individual and could involve several tenants from one residence, he said.
Central Missouri Community Action, which helps people struggling to pay rent and utilities, said it's adjusting tenants benefits until employment is restored or until the tenant finds a new job if they lost their old job because of COVID-19.
CMCA said it's had some requests for renter's assistance attributed to the possibility of landlords asking for current rent or back rent if tenants didn't pay during the early months of COVID-19.
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