NCSC offers eviction diversion resources
If the Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium ends on June 30, as many expect, eviction cases may flood state courts nationwide.
NCSC urges court leaders to implement diversion programs, which have the potential to lessen their workloads while also benefiting landlords and tenants.
To that end, NCSC has created an eviction diversion diagnostic tool. It starts with an interview that gauges court leaders’ appetite for eviction diversion and gathers relevant information about their jurisdictions. The final product is a document that provides them with guidance, best practices, and information about other, similar eviction diversion programs. It also offers advice on how court leaders might cooperate with legal aid and rental assistance and presents them with a model eviction diversion program structure that they can implement.
Depending on their answers from the interview, the tool may recommend a full eviction diversion program. In that case, courts would add a mandatory case management, pretrial status hearing to the beginning of each eviction case that may lead to no record of an eviction lawsuit, which could harm a tenant’s ability to find housing in the future. A diversion program can also work with rental assistance to help the landlord receive rent owed.
“We think of the tool as an interactive quiz for eviction diversion,” said Zach Zarnow and Danielle Hirsch, NCSC principal court management consultants who are working on this issue, “and answering these few questions can help your court establish a diversion program that can reduce caseloads and offer resources to landlords and tenants.”
The tool, funded by the State Justice Institute, was launched as part of CCJ/COSCA’s Rapid Response Team Implementation Lab on eviction diversion.
Besides the tool, NCSC is providing courts with other eviction-related resources, including:
Four short, fun explanatory videos:
- Evictions (What's Next?);
- Eviction Diversion;
- Procedural Considerations for Evictions; and
- CDC Eviction Order.
And three webinars:
- Handling High Volume Dockets: Spotlight on Eviction Diversion Programs (Part 1) and related materials;
- Spotlight on Eviction Diversion Programs (Part 2) and related materials; and
- Policy Briefing from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
NCSC also is offering court leaders a free consultation after using the tool. Zarnow and Hirsch want as many courts as possible to be aware of eviction diversion and receive the advice they need to establish an eviction diversion program. Schedule a consultation here.
Webinar: A new day for remote work in the state courts?
While courts in many states are adopting policies more supportive of remote work by court employees, the experience of the pandemic and closing of court facilities changed everything. With restrictions easing, many courts are facing a cultural shift in the attitudes of many employees and are evaluating whether changes in court HR policies and attitudes about remote work are needed. Three states will share their experiences in developing and adopting new policies and approaches for court employees during a free webinar on Thursday, June 24, at 3:00 pm ET. Register now.