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York City to enforce Supreme Court-mandated halt on evictions

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Police officer Michael Rykowski checks a locked door at a business on West Philadelphia Street while on patrol Monday, March 23, 2020. He and other police, fire and property management representatives were checking that businesses, schools and organizations were complying with state and city COVID-19 closure orders. Bill Kalina photo

York City Police have begun to enforce a stay on evictions that the state Supreme Court implemented last month.

The Wednesday announcement came as struggling businesses have begun to close and layoff employees in the wake of Gov. Tom Wolf's order to close all "non-life-sustaining" businesses, a move that has left many without paychecks on the first of the month.

“It is the end of the month, but as with the whole world, the end of this month is very different. Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, some businesses are closed and many people are out of work due to no fault of their own," the Wednesday release states.

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The state Supreme Court had already laid the ground rules prohibiting evictions in a mid-March emergency order.

“The Court is aware that the economic consequences of the covid-19 pandemic may cause individuals to suffer a loss of income, which in turn may delay rent payments, mortgage loan payments or the like,” the order stated.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court extended its order until at least April 30, a month longer than it had initially planned.

Landlords who violate the order, per York City's release, are subject to warnings, fines and second-degree misdemeanor charges.

The York County District Attorney's Office may also aid with prosecution, the release states.

Pennsylvania announced 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday,  bringing the state total to 7,016 — the third consecutive record day-to-day increase, according to the state Department of Health. There were 16 new deaths, including one in York County, for a statewide total of 90. 

There have been 102 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in York County.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.