SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher says deputies are days away from enforcing eviction orders after putting them on hold for nearly five months because of the global pandemic.
Wilcher says his office has nearly 100 dispossessary warrants to enforce, in addition to nearly 400 others that are ready to be delivered by the courts.
“I feel sorry for the people, but there’s nothing I can do because I’m bound by law,” said Sheriff Wilcher at his first in-person appearance since coronavirus hit the Coastal Empire.
He says there are no longer any state or emergency orders preventing him from enforcing dispossessary warrants. Therefore, he will start enforcing them on Monday, August 3.
“It’s got to go on,” he explained. “People who own houses need to get their property back.”
Shaina Thompson, an attorney with Georgia Legal Services, tells News 3 some tenants are still protected by the CARES act. In those cases, the landlord must wait 30 days after an initial eviction notice to file one in the courts.
She says proceedings may be delayed because of new social distancing protocols at the Chatham County Courthouse.
If you receive an eviction notice, Thompson says to contact Georgia Legal Services immediately. You may be qualified for free legal advice on your case. Additional resources can be found at this link, according to Thompson.
If deputies show up at your door, Sheriff Wilcher says safety is important. Deputies will be wearing masks, gloves and body cameras.