In most cases, the following are examples of what may stop or cause an eviction to be delayed:
- Snow or Rain: The weather is a factor. Regardless of temperature, the eviction will be cancelled and you will need to call and reschedule if there is a greater than 50% chance of rain or snow forecasted in the 24 hour period leading up to the Eviction day. Yes, this is open to interpretation by the Sheriff or Constable.
- Temperature: If the forecast calls for temperatures of 32 degrees or below on the day of the eviction, it’s likely you will need to reschedule.
- Court Ordered Stay or Delay: It is possible that a tenant may go to the district court and plea with a judge to get a “stay,” which is an extension. This can happen as late as one day prior to the eviction. It happens. A judge may grant a delay of one week, or a Stay until a new hearing date.
- Sheriff Ordered Delay: There are tenants who are very convincing with their stories, and they can sometimes be successful at creating doubts about the non-court procedures, such as challenge whether the notices were properly sent. The Sheriff may be uncertain and will refer the issue to the Judge for decision that afternoon. *At the hearing, the judge will make a ruling. The tenant is either evicted immediately, it is cancelled/vacated, or it will be Stayed for another hearing date. If the Judge vacates the Writ, the landlord must apply for a new WOR with the court and provide new notices to the tenant if the landlord wants to proceed again with an eviction.
- Other Situational Factors: Many things can happen where there are no rules or precedents clearly written. The sheriff will do their best to exercise judgement. We once had a situation where a tenant had snakes and lizards as pets. Although it wasn’t freezing, it was too cold to put them out (this was before the rules changed regarding tenant possessions being kept inside in Baltimore City). The Sheriff had to call Animal Control, luckily they arrived quickly, otherwise the eviction may not have taken place.
*In Baltimore City, an example is posting the eviction notice on the door. The tenant may claim it never happened. A landlord is required to have a signed affidavit attesting to the date and time of posting of the letter of eviction dated at least seven days prior to the day of eviction. Some companies still also take a photo with a date/time stamp of the posting on the clearly marked door as proof to bring that to the eviction for the Sheriff.