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Monday, March 16, 2020

St. Louis Halts Evictions and Parking Tickets as COVID-19 Response Ramps Up

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 4:29 PM

click to enlarge DANNY WICENTOWSKI
As the business of private and public life grinds to a halt, St. Louis city leaders announced this afternoon that two pillars of municipal enforcement — parking tickets and evictions — are on hiatus.

According to a tweet by mayor Lyda Krewson, the order regarding a moratorium on evictions is intended to "ensure individuals can maintain access to housing during the #COVID19 outbreak." Krewson attributed the decision to Sheriff Vernon Betts and the St. Louis Housing Authority.

Minutes later, St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones tweeted out her own press release, describing multiple actions by her office to support social distancing and to "help St. Louisans economic hardship."

To that end, effective immediately, all parking meters are free through April 6 and no tickets will be written. (Jones added in her tweet that "All tickets written today will be voided.")

The announcements come at a time when virtually every level of government has announced drastic measures to contain the ongoing spread of infection: Schools are cancelled, jury trials postponed and sports leagues shuttered for the season. Like other actions taken, these new orders create new complications and questions — What are the responsibilities of landlords who are on the financial hook for tenants they cannot evict? What should property or businesses owners do about illegally parked cars?

While no doubt aggravating for those affected, those issues are on the back burner as officials weigh a possible statewide shutdown of businesses and public gathering. Right now, the key is stopping the spread COVID-19. Parking tickets can come later.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at
@D_Towski. E-mail the author at
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