Legal Alert

Maryland, D.C., and Virginia Halt Foreclosures and Evictions, Extend Tenant Rights

March 19, 2020


  • The Maryland Court of Appeals has issued an Administrative Order on Suspension of Foreclosures and Evictions during the COVID-19 Emergency, which stays all pending and new residential foreclosures and evictions in the State of Maryland.
  • The Maryland Court of Appeals has issued an Administrative Order on Statewide Judiciary Operations that Must Be Maintained during the COVID-19 Emergency as to Land Records, which has the effect of requiring Clerks of the Circuit Courts to continue processing documents properly received for recording in the Land Records Department with electronic signatures accepted in accordance with law. Where already in effect, e-filing remains open, but it is not available in all counties or for all documents.


  • The Supreme Court of Virginia has issued an Order Declaring Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 Emergency, which Order is effective from March 16, 2020 through April 6, 2020. The Order provides that all non-emergency, non-essential court proceedings in Virginia Circuit and District Courts are suspended and all deadlines tolled for 21 days. This has the effect of suspending new and pending evictions and foreclosures.

District of Columbia

  • The DC Council unanimously passed the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, which implements a number of measures to address health, public safety, and consumer protections during the emergency period, including prohibition on all evictions and prohibition on disconnecting gas, electric, and water utilities due to non-payment.

The same action of the DC Council extends the statutory period applicable to tenant and tenant organization actions under DC’s TOPA law.

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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.

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