Sheriff's Office suspends tax lien sales, evictions during March

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The Office of the Sheriff is postponing all tax lien sales and evictions until further notice in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Due to the COVID-19 trauma that is happening, not just in the city but across the entire world, we felt that there need not be any undue hardship to any of the citizens of the city who may be experiencing work-related hardships related to the coronavirus,” Sheriff Rochelle Bilal said.

Bilal petitioned the First Judicial District Court for the relief measure back on March 12. The March 18 tax lien sale was postponed shortly thereafter. Two more tax lien sales scheduled for March 24 and 26 have also been postponed.

Tax sales typically attract hundreds of people. In an effort to reduce the spread of the highly contagious virus, which the World Health Organization has classified as a global pandemic, officials don’t want people to gather in crowds larger than 10 people.

As long as the courts remain closed, the Sheriff’s Office will not serve eviction notices or perform any evictions. The agency will also cease serving bank writs and garnishments of any kind until the courts reopen.

The sheriff’s office will revisit the new policy at the beginning of next month.