The King County Sheriff’s Office will no longer enforce court-ordered evictions, starting March 17. Image courtesy King County

The King County Sheriff’s Office will no longer enforce court-ordered evictions, starting March 17. Image courtesy King County

King County Sheriff to immediately stop enforcing court-ordered evictions

Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht explained this is not the time to make families more vulnerable.

The King County Sheriff’s Office has announced it will not be enforcing court-ordered evictions in King County while the county is fighting the COVID-19 health crisis.

“This is no time to be putting vulnerable people and families on the street without shelter,” Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht said in a March 17 press release. “I have committed to suspending evictions during this difficult time when we need to embrace our neighbors rather than remove them from their homes.”

A letter to King County Superior Court Presiding Judge James Rogers accompanied the release, noting that deputies in the Sheriff’s Office’s Civil Unit — which handles these sorts of cases — have been redeployed elsewhere, in part to minimize the risk of law enforcement being exposed to the coronavirus.

“Civil evictions can result in situations where deputies risk exposure to the virus because they are not able to maintain social distancing while they are facilitating physical eviction of tenants and their possessions,” Johanknecht wrote, adding that she expects some KCSO staff will need to be quarantined in the near future, which will affect staffing levels and effective emergency response.

“Our Civil Unit will maintain all orders relating to eviction for processing when we can safely devote our resources to this work,” the letter ends. “I… will update the court when we are in a position to resume implementing the Court’s orders on civil evictions. At that time, we can anticipate a backlog while we work through pending eviction orders.”




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Parents in Kelowna lack confidence in the vaccination (Metro Creative Graphics Photo)
State health department approves Pfizer booster for kids ages 5-11

The move comes as COVID-19 cases are increasing in King County

Monkeypox virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
Public health officials confirm case of monkeypox in King County

Health officials say the positive case does not pose a significant risk to public health

Patti Cole-Tindall (Courtesy of King County)
Patti Cole-Tindall is officially confirmed as the new King County Sheriff

After serving as the interim sheriff since January, the King County Council… Continue reading

World War II veterans in Auburn, Wash. File photo
Washington ranks 7th among states for number of World War II veterans

12,364 WWII veterans are living in the state, with a total population of 517,912 military veterans.

Photo of promotional recruitment banner used by Auburn Police Department at Petpalooza. The banner features Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson, who is awaiting trial for the 2019 murder and assault of Jesse Sarey. Photo courtesy of Jeff Trimble
Auburn police use photo of embattled officer on recruitment banner

Families of people killed by Jeffrey Nelson, who’s awaiting trial for murder, speak out over use of his photo at Petpalooza.

T
Use your King County library card to explore the outdoors

KCLS cardholders can check out a Discover Pass for two weeks to explore public lands.

Monkeypox virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
King County identifies first presumptive monkeypox case

The illness is not as easily transmitted compared to COVID-19, according to health officer.

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

Most Read