Evictions stopped to help struggling Oklahomans amid COVID-19 pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Due to concerns over COVID-19, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is temporarily suspending the enforcement of evictions.

“I’m a server and I’m a single mom and our dining room is completely closed, so it’s to-go orders only,” Jennifer Mundy told News 4.

That’s the story pretty much everywhere right now, making times tough for people like Mundy, who works in the food service industry.

“We don’t get tipped on those. So, we’ve basically lost our income,” Mundy said.

So when Mundy got a notice from her apartment complex on her door earlier this week, she said she couldn’t believe what she was reading.

The notice reads, “All state courts are currently open; therefore, evictions will still proceed if payment or rent is not received.”

“I didn’t think an apartment complex who has the money and has the resources for tenants like me – who’ve pay my rent every month on time – that they would put out such a heartless note,” Mundy said.

Mundy received that note on her door the same day the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma sent out a notice, suspending all non-emergency court hearings for 30 days.

Then Wednesday morning, Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor signed a letter temporarily suspending the enforcement of all evictions.

“We’ve had days our judicial services division has had as many as 52 lockouts in one day,“ Sheriff Taylor said.

Taylor said because of that, this decision was made with the safety of his employees, landlords and tenants in mind.

“It’s really in effect until further notice. If things get better, things change, we’ll resume normal operations. But really to be honest with the public, that doesn’t appear to be happening in the near future,” Sheriff Taylor said.

When News 4 called Mundy’s apartment complex, we left a message and got a call back from corporate management. They said that notice should have never been sent out and it was an employee error.

Mundy is still upset that it made it all the way to her door.

“We don’t know how long this is going to last. We don’t know how long the restaurants are going to be closed, and we don’t know how long it’s going to be before people come back out after everything opens back up. There’s just no certainty of anything,” she said.

Shortly after the announcement from the OCSO, President Donald Trump announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would temporarily suspend “all foreclosures and evictions” amid the COVID-19 crisis.

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