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Divided Supreme Court grants eviction moratorium

(AP) The Supreme Court of Virginia has granted a second request from Gov. Ralph Northam to suspend judicial proceedings related to evictions for tenants who can’t pay rent.

The court ruled 4-3 on Friday to grant a moratorium on evictions through Sept. 7 as the state grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

That will give the General Assembly and governor time to pass a rent relief package in a special session that is set to start later this month.

The high court instituted a suspension of evictions June 8, but allowed it to expire June 28.

Northam requested another statewide moratorium in late July, noting that there had been 6,000 eviction hearings scheduled between July 20 and August 7. He also said there’s been “concerning increases” in cases in the Hampton Roads area and spikes in other parts of the state.

“There remains the distinct threat that the most vulnerable Virginians will be evicted from their homes at a time when our public health crisis is expanding,” Northam said.

Additional reporting to come. 

Updated Aug. 12 to correct dates of initial eviction suspension.

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