At the end of March, without announcement or explanation, the Texas Supreme Court allowed that order to expire. Confused, Patronella called the court for guidance—was he supposed to enforce the CDC moratorium or not?
“They said no,” he says. “The Supreme Court felt that the state of Texas should get out of the business of reviewing those affidavits and that that was something between the landlord and tenant.”
So he started allowing evictions to continue, even when the tenant complied with the federal law and presented a declaration saying they were covered by the CDC’s moratorium. By July 31, when the CDC’s national moratorium expired, only 12 percent of tenants in his courtroom had been able to successfully invoke the order to stay in their homes, according to January Advisors, a data analytics company based in Houston.