Dallas County J.P. throws out evictions after landlords received CARES Act funds

A Dallas County Justice of the Peace has thrown out or reversed a number of evictions because the tenants are temporarily prevented from eviction after their landlords received federal stimulus money.

J.P. Katina Whitfield said evictions at the twenty-one at one apartment complex shouldn’t be happening right now, but some have already been locked out.

Stephanie Davis said she’s been wrongly kicked out of her apartment in the 11200 block of Woodmeadow Parkway in Dallas.

“I’m paying my rent, I’m paying everything on time and I get an eviction the end of June stating that I owe $17.75,” Davis said. “From the previous apartment.”

Davis went to court to fight it and Whitfield vacated the eviction.

“Landlords have filed evictions on tenants who are protected under the federal CARES Act,” Whitfield said.

The tenants are protected from eviction if the landlord or apartment owners received stimulus from the government under the CARES Act when COVID-19 hit. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has a website listing names and addresses of apartments that received federal funds during the crisis and explaining the federal moratorium on evictions.

RELATED: Coronavirus coverage

“Until August 24, according to the act, these are only landlords receiving federal funds -- such as Fannie Mae or HUD,” Whitfield said.

At Davis' complex alone, Whitfield vacated 21 evictions allowing people to stay in their homes.

“If I don’t catch them before we have a court date and I have rendered a judgment only to find out that they were protected under the federal CARES Act, I have gone in and set aside the judgment,” Whitfield said.

Though she has a legal right to stay there, Davis hasn’t been able to get a key to get back into her apartment.

“We're dealing with COVID and everything else and hospitals are spiking and on the verge of another lockdown and here you are putting people out,” Davis said.

RELATED: Interactive map of Texas COVID-19 cases