Wahkiakum County Superior Court has agreed to participate in a pilot Eviction Resolution Program (ERP). ERP is mandated prior to conducting a hearing on the Unlawful Detainer Civil Calendar.
Many landlords and tenants have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently there are both federal and state mandates in place prohibiting evictions based on the nonpayment of rent. To address this anticipated increase in eviction cases, Wahkiakum County Superior Court has established a no cost Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) which will require parties to engage in problem-solving steps before the cases come to court. In legal terminology, eviction cases are called “unlawful detainer” cases.
EVICTION RESOLUTION PROGRAM (ERP)
The ERP includes communication steps between landlords and tenants, notifications to tenants with specific information, and required court forms. The goal of the program is to bring tenants and landlords together with trained Eviction Resolution Specialists to explore solutions. This includes accessing state and local rent assistance and creating realistic payment plans that will help tenants retain their housing and avoid the legal eviction process, while landlords benefit from continuity of occupancy and income.
The ERP is being offered at no cost. It is funded from federal CARES Act monies. Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services and Dispute Resolution Center of Grays Harbor & Pacific Counties are providing the staffing for this program.
As long as the mandates remain in place, the program is voluntary. It will become mandatory when the mandates expire. The Superior Court hopes that landlords and tenants will use this free program now and get a head start on problem-solving. Complying with the program now will satisfy the mandatory requirements when the mandates expire.
PRE-COURT ASSISTANCE: If you receive any notices related to your housing, you should contact one of the local agencies who provide assistance to tenants in eviction matters.