Home>Articles>Lawyer’s Swift Action Forces Gov. Newsom’s ‘No Eviction’ Order to be Rescinded

Doug Michie, attorney, Ventura, CA. (Photo: permission of Doug Michie)

Lawyer’s Swift Action Forces Gov. Newsom’s ‘No Eviction’ Order to be Rescinded

Ventura attorney’s single lawsuit ended the ban on rental evictions and accompanying loss of rent

By Wayne Lusvardi, June 10, 2020 5:01 pm

“No State shall … pass any … law impairing the Obligation of Contracts” (Article 1, Section10, US Constitution)…” Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” and…Violations of Substantive Due Process (5th Amendment US Constitution).

 

On May 8, 2020, Attorney Doug Michie of Ventura filed a complaint with the 3rd District of the U.S. Court in California against Gov. Newsom’s Executive Orders banning landlord rent collections and evictions of tenants in rental properties in California due to the speculative possibility in December 2019 of an epidemic of coronavirus. Michie cited as the legal basis of his complaint the above-cited provisions of the United States Constitution.

Michie filed the complaint on behalf of his wife, Oksana Michie, who owns residential income properties in Cambria, Cayucos and Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which have suffered rent loss and plausible total loss in value since Newsom’s Order. Michie also filed his suit as a class action matter on behalf of all affected landlords in California.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal forwarded Michie’s complaint to the California Judicial Council, which Gov. Newsom delegated to handle any lawsuits arising from the coronavirus emergency orders. The Judicial Council is chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

In an email to California Globe, Michie wrote:

“I am happy to report that, coincidently after service of the lawsuit on the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court, the California Judicial Council is voting to sunset its Emergency Rule 1 (as well as Emergency Rule 2).  Before the attached voting circular was sent out yesterday, I emailed our State Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to request that she vote to rescind this rule. The sunsetting of this additional 90-day free rent period is a great step forward for landlords”.

In his memo to State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Michie said that Order N-28-20 “in essence suspended the ability of Mom and Pop landlords to evict tenants that fail to pay rent for 2-1/2 months.” On May 29, Order N-66-20 extended the delay an additional 60 days to July 28, amounting to 4-1/2 months lost rent plus eviction costs of about $1,000.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median housing rent in San Luis Obispo County is $1,385 per month. Four and one-half month’s rent and eviction costs would thus be about $7,232 total loss from each delinquent renter on average. Two more months of rent loss would have increased the total loss to $10,002 per unit.

Michie’s lawsuit puts a stop to extending this an another 60-days. So, Newsom’s Order is expected to expire on July 29.

Rule 1 of Order N-28-20 deals with delaying the filing of eviction actions against non-paying tenants and Rule 2 deals with delaying all pending judicial foreclosure actions against property owners. But very few foreclosures in California are handled in the courts but are handled by title companies. Thus, Rule 2 is mostly meaningless and unhelpful to landlords that may be facing foreclosures on their loans due to non-payment of rents as a result of non-payment of rents.

Michie stated in a phone interview that when he contacted the State Attorney General’s Office he was told that his suit was the only one filed against Executive Order N-28-20 holding evictions in abeyance to August 3, 2020. So, a single pending lawsuit has brought about an end to the ban on evictions and accompanying loss of rent until the tenant can be evicted.

Michie says many landlords do not have 401 (K)  retirement plans, but have rental properties on which they depend for their retirement income.

The order to let Newsom’s Executive Orders expire is still pending as of this writing.

But the expiration of Newsom’s orders still leave open the issue whether property owners could seek a property takings class action lawsuit for recovery of compensable losses in the courts.

There are 6,356,336 rental units in California with an average monthly rent of $1,429 according to the U.S. Census. If just 25 percent of the tenants did not pay rent for the 4-1/2-month period plus $1,000 eviction cost, the potential loss could be in the magnitude of $1 billion to property owners. Even if the state gave landlords a tax write off, this would cut tax revenues to the state, which has a $54 billion deficit due to the governor’s lockdown order and self-imposed virus crisis.

Michie is a former deputy district attorney for the County of Los Angeles who established his law firm in Ventura in 1988 and holds degrees in biochemistry, an MBA and a PhD in Planning. He served in the National Guard for 20 years. He mainly deals in real estate matters, specializing in the division of real estate assets and commercial real estate. He can be contacted here.

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20 thoughts on “Lawyer’s Swift Action Forces Gov. Newsom’s ‘No Eviction’ Order to be Rescinded

  1. “A single pending lawsuit has brought about an end to the ban on evictions and accompanying loss of rent until the tenant can be evicted.”
    I’m amazed, I can hardly believe it. Congratulations to Atty Doug Michie.
    Hear that, everybody? Law suits en masse against Gruesome’s executive orders.
    But maybe call Atty Doug Michie first for a consult.

  2. Democrats knowingly violate your civil rights. Democrates then make you go to court and sue them to get your constitutional rights reinstated. If anyone else blatantly violated a citizens civil rights, they would go to prison and be fined.

  3. Chalk one up for the good guys. Virtually everything that Sacramento does goes unchallenged. It is long past time people fight back.

    1. Landlords aren’t the good guys.

      It’s time for tenant’s to fight back against greedy landlords who are extracting high rents but have low mortgatges.

      Basically the landlords want the right to rake tenants over the coals for the most they can get.

  4. Nothing has changed. I don’t really understand this article. The eviction moratorium is still in effect, and lawmakers are looking to extent it indefinitely. I have a little house I rent out, and the tenant hasn’t paid rent in 6 months, now it looks like he’ll essentially never have to pay. I’m left with no legal recourse. I’m kind of at my wits end. The state of California has now seized my property, and I can do nothing about it. At this point, I really don’t know what to do anymore.

  5. Need Clarification… The law suit does not end existing extension N-66-20 which presently goes to the end of July, it only (gratefully I add) limits the ability of another extension, or does sunsetting mean that N-66-20 is ending before the end of July?

  6. Unfortunately, the eviction ban still stands. The Judicial Council did not vote on June 10 to suspend Rule 1; it appears the Governor’s office and some assembly members put pressure on the Chief Justice to suspend their vote.

  7. Read the rest of that sentence you qouted in Article I, sec 10 of the Constitution @DougMithie.

    “No State shall pass a law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any titles of Nobility”

    You have a BAR license and work for the Queen of England, which gives you a title of Nobility. The British Accredited Resgistry.
    You work for a foerign Country and have no standing to even bring a lawsuit.

    Go practice Law over in England where you and all BAR Attorneys need to go.

  8. Where are the lawyers for class action lawsuit? This is a great opportunity for justice. Can a lawyer put together one so landlords can be represented too?

  9. There is so much that is just factually wrong in this article, it’s hard to know where to start.

    -There is no 3rd District U.S. Court.
    -Order N-28-20 does not include any substantive tenant protections.
    -Order N-28-20 does not include emergency Rule 1.
    -Newsom does not run the Judicial Council.
    -Landlords did file a lawsuit last week seeking to overturn some local emergency provisions about tenant protections. This attorney was not part of that lawsuit.
    -Emergency rule 1 has not been rescinded.
    -Executive order N-28-20 has not been rescinded.
    -There is no “no eviction” order by Newsom. There are some tenant protections in N-37-20 but that is limited and is not the same as either N-28-20 or emergency Rule 1 (which is actually the strongest tenant protection).

    Also, it is hilarious that this “swift action” comes more than three months after the executive order was issued.

    I’m sure this list is missing some additional errors in the article, there are so many it’s hard to keep track. But this is a start. 🙂

  10. Everything about this article’s Title and Heading is false:
    “ Lawyer’s Swift Action Forces Gov. Newsom’s ‘No Eviction’ Order to be Rescinded
    Ventura attorney’s single lawsuit ended the ban on rental evictions and accompanying loss of rent”

    Where is proof any order has been rescinded?
    Where is there proof the ban on rental evictions has ended?
    Where is proof the accompanying loss of rent has ended?
    The ban order has not been rescinded. The ban on rental evictions still exists and the accompanying loss of rent is still happening. This convoluted hodgepodge of an article does not support or clarify the false Title and Heading.
    The truth is it seems like there is a possibility that evictions may resume sometime in August, but nothing official has been announced anywhere. Prove me wrong.

    1. I have a case that was started in the beginning of the year. They have already postponed the trial a couple of times. The latest new date is the early part of August. I’m not gonna hold my breath waiting though.

  11. It would be nice if writers like this actually researched their articles and got their facts straight. The article reads like something Doug Michie wrote to promote himself.
    As of tonight, July 1,2020 the judicial council order which read “No eviction filings or cases for 90 days following the declared end of the pandemic by the governor” is still in place. It was reviewed by the Judicial Council and they elected to leave it in place for now.
    If the governor declared the pandemic over at the end of July (Not going to happen, Governor Newsom just locked parts of the state back down today due to dramatically increasing numbers) then eviction filings would resume on November 1 under the current emergency order. Don’t look for evictions to begin again until after the start of the New Year

    1. Thanks. This is a big help to everyone. When an attorney says something it is assumed you don’t have to fact check it. But we find that citizens often know better than the experts.

  12. Landlords aren’t the good guys.

    It’s time for tenant’s to fight back against greedy landlords who are extracting high rents but have low mortgatges.

    Basically the landlords want the right to rake tenants over the coals for the most they can get.

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