GOVERNOR WHITMER HALTS EVICTIONS- Michigan

Update #4:  Latest information for Landlords from Piper Legal…- Michigan

This was just sent to me from one of our leading Real Estate Attorneys. I thought I would share for those of you who are still a little confused on the what is happening for the Landlords in Michigan.

To Your Success,

Wendy

This latest development in the ongoing health emergency comes as no surprise.  The complete text of the temporary order is below. Here is the latest information and advice from Piper Legal.  
#1.  Do not slow your process down.  If the rent is unpaid send a notice.  The order specifically requires notice to be mailed – no personal delivery.   A tenant who does not receive a notice of unpaid rent will assume the order halts rent payments, it does not.   The order temporarily suspends the end of line enforcement mechanism: execution of the order of eviction (“writ”). 
#2.  Most Courts remain open.  The Michigan Supreme Court has left the decision to close courts up to the local Chief Judge (by county).   You should continue to turn over cases.  Our office will provide you property specific status updates via email.   
#3.  When the Governor’s order is lifted (currently April 17, 2020) the standard processes and time frames will still apply. Do not get behind.  The order does allow extensions for deadlines affecting current judgments or pending writs.
#4.  By doing steps #1 and #2 you will be in the best position to maintain your cash flow, avoid a vacancy and ensure your tenant has a roof over their head. 
Piper Legal
601 S Saginaw St Ste 202
Flint, MI 48502
(810) 235-2558
Please see order below

EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 2020-19
Temporary prohibition against entry to premises for the purpose of removing or excluding a tenant or mobile home owner from their home
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and easily spread from person to person. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.

On March 10, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services identified the first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. On that same day, I issued Executive Order 2020-4. This order declared a state of emergency across the state of Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended, MCL 30.401-.421, and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, 1945 PA 302, as amended, MCL 10.31-.33.

The Emergency Management Act vests the governor with broad powers and duties to “cope with dangers to this state or the people of this state presented by a disaster or emergency,” which the governor may implement through “executive orders, proclamations, and directives having the force and effect of law.” MCL 30.403(1)-(2). Similarly, the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 provides that, after declaring a state of emergency, “the governor may promulgate reasonable orders, rules, and regulations as he or she considers necessary to protect life and property or to bring the emergency situation within the affected area under control.” MCL 10.31(1).
The current state of emergency would be exacerbated by the additional threats to the public health related to removing or excluding people from their residences during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect the public health, and provide essential protections to vulnerable Michiganders, it is reasonable and necessary to provide temporary relief from certain eviction-related requirements and to temporarily prohibit the removal or exclusion of a tenant or mobile home owner from their residential premises, except in extreme circumstances.

Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:
GEORGE W. ROMNEY BUILDING • 111 SOUTH CAPITOL AVENUE • LANSING, MICHIGAN 48909 www.michigan.gov
PRINTED IN-HOUSE

1. Due to the protection that a residential home provides from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to contain self-quarantined and self-isolated individuals within a residential home, no person shall remove or exclude from leased residential premises or residential premises held under a forfeited executory contract a tenant, a vendee of a forfeited executory contract, or a person holding under a tenant or vendee, except when the tenant, vendee, or person holding under them poses a substantial risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property. This order should be broadly construed to effectuate that purpose. This section is effective immediately and continues until April 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

2. Nothing in this order is intended to abrogate the judicial power, which is vested exclusively in this state’s one court of justice by section 1 of article 6 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963. This order does not affect the inherent power of a judge to order equitable relief.

3. Nothing in this order shall be construed to abrogate the obligation to pay or right to receive payment due under a lease, nor the obligations and duties prescribed by sections 5716 and 5718 of the Revised Judicature Act (“RJA”), MCL 600.5716 and 600.5718. Effective immediately and continuing until April 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm, demand for payment may not be served by personal delivery.

4. Due to the protection that a residential home provides from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to contain self-quarantined and self-isolated individuals within a residential home, no person may enter residential property in order to remove or exclude from the premises a tenant, a vendee of a forfeited executory contract, a person holding under a tenant or vendee, or the personal property of a tenant, vendee, or person holding under them, including pursuant to a writ authorizing restoration of a plaintiff to full, peaceful possession of premises under section 5744 of the RJA, MCL 600.5744, except when the tenant, vendee, or person holding under them poses a substantial risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property. This section is effective immediately and continues until April 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

5. Due to the protection that a residential home provides from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to contain self-quarantined and self-isolated individuals within a residential home, a sheriff, under-sheriff or constable, deputy, or other officer must not serve process requiring forfeiture of leased residential premises or residential premises held under a forfeited executory contract. Any requirements to that effect imposed by the RJA are suspended. This section is effective immediately and continues until April 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

6. Due to the protection that a residential home provides from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to contain self-quarantined and self-isolated individuals within a residential home, no person may deny a mobile home owner access to their mobile home, except when the mobile home owner’s tenancy has been terminated because the mobile home owner poses a substantial risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property. This section is effective immediately and continues until April 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

7. Until thirty (30) days after the restrictions on eviction provided by sections 1 through 6 expire, any statutory limits on the court of this state to adjourn any proceedings, toll any redemption periods or limitations periods, or extend any deadlines are suspended.

8. As used in this order, all terms have the meaning provided by the Revised Judicature Act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, as amended.

9. Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor.

10. A copy of this order will be transmitted to the State Court Administrative Office.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.
Date: March 20, 2020 Time: 4:09 pm
GRETCHEN WHITMER GOVERNOR
By the Governor:
___________________________________
SECRETARY OF STATE

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