On Tuesday, April 28th, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a per curiam order requiring that anybody filing an eviction in Arkansas affirmatively plead that their property is not subject to the federal eviction moratorium that was established by the CARES Act.
This requirement makes sense because it is much easier for a landlord to determine whether their property is covered than it would be for a tenant to get that information. The requirement was also very much needed as Legal Aid has identified numerous eviction cases filed, particularly in Northwest Arkansas, that should have been blocked by the CARES Act moratorium. However, the Supreme Court's order is not a ban on evictions. Owners of rental property that do not receive federal funding or have a federally backed mortgage can still file and prosecute eviction cases as long as they say in their lawsuit that they are not subject to the moratorium.
Evictions are still happening in Arkansas. If you or someone you know is having a problem maintaining safe housing during this time, please contact us at Legal Aid of Arkansas. While we do not have funds to assist you with paying your rent, our attorneys and staff may be able to provide you legal information, advice, or representation should you have a problem with your landlord or mortgage company. You can reach our HelpLine at 800-952-9243 or apply online at www.arlegalaid.org.
Legal Aid of Arkansas is a nonprofit, public interest law firm established in 1967 that provides free legal services to low-income Arkansans with civil legal problems across 31 countries and statewide through our Low-Income Taxpayers Clinic and Fair Housing Enforcement Project. We have offices in Harrison, Helena-West Helena, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Newport, Rogers, Springdale and West Memphis.