Milwaukee, WI  (October 8, 2020) The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is statutorily obligated to perform evictions after a landlord obtains an order from the court.  MCSO is aware of the CDC’s September 4, 2020, order which temporarily halts certain residential evictions for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020.  The CDC’s eviction halt applies when tenants who meet a specific set of income, work, and housing requirements present their landlords with a signed declaration.  The CDC eviction halt is quite different from expired moratoriums previously issued by the State of Wisconsin and the courts that protected all residential tenants during the applicable time period.  The CDC’s order protects from eviction only a select group of people who meet the criteria and take the steps specified by the CDC.

Court-ordered evictions currently delivered to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office typically do not identify the reason for the eviction (e.g., nonpayment of rent, criminal activity while on the premises, damaging property, etc.).  The MCSO has developed a process to ensure fairness to both parties involved in the eviction and to remain legally compliant with its statutory obligations and the CDC’s order.

If a tenant(s) is present during an eviction, they are asked by Sheriff’s deputies, if they have delivered or intend to deliver a CDC declaration to their respective landlord.  If the tenant states “yes,” the tenant is asked to attest as such on a form provided by MCSO, the eviction process is halted, and the landlord is directed to contact the court that issued the eviction for further guidance.  If a tenant is not present, the landlord or its representative is asked if the landlord has received a CDC declaration from a tenant.  If the answer is “no,” the landlord is asked to attest as such on a form provided by MCSO and the eviction process goes forward.

The nature of the CDC’s temporary halt on evictions has led to understandable misconceptions that it is a moratorium on all evictions.  This is not the case.  The CDC order does not prevent all tenants from being evicted—only those who opt-in to the protections by signing a declaration, under the penalty of perjury, attesting they meet the eligibility requirements of the CDC order.

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