Durham County sheriff suspends all evictions amid COVID-19 outbreak


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The Durham County sheriff is suspending all evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced the closure of the North Carolina court system.

On March 13, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley closed the state’s courts for 30 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The closure applied to most cases including evictions and foreclosures.

On Monday, Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead said he has been asking for clarification from judicial officials on how to handle eviction orders filed before the courts were closed.

“At this time, I am suspending the service of these judgments until further notice. Although Chief Justice Beasley’s order does not specifically address this process, it has been interpreted that under that order a suspension would be allowable,” Birkhead said.

The sheriff said he has constitutional responsibilities that “cannot be halted.”

Birkhead said no one has been evicted into a homeless situation as a result of recent orders.

“Together, as one community, we will get through this health crisis allowing the lives of our County’s residents to return to normal,” Birkhead said.

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