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Missouri judge asks city sheriff to suspend eviction notices

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri judge has asked St. Louis’ sheriff to temporarily stop serving eviction notices until officials can assess mortgage and tenant assistance applications.

St. Louis Circuit Court Presiding Judge Rex Burlison made his request to Sheriff Vernon Betts on Monday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Burlison said the court had asked officials if those being evicted qualified for federal money.

“Let’s take a breath and see if we can keep people in their homes,” Burlison said. He added that the city had $5.4 million in federal emergency funding to help.

Betts said his office would suspend serving notices until he heard from the court. The office began handing out eviction notices last month.

In March, the city adopted an eviction moratorium in response to the coronavirus.

About 23 million people nationwide are at risk of being evicted, according to The Aspen Institute, as moratoriums enacted because of the coronavirus expire and courts reopen.

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