On April 6, 2020, the California State Judicial Council adopted Emergency Rule 9 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]  As originally approved, the rule tolled the statute of limitations for all civil causes of action from April 6, 2020 until 90 days after the Governor lifts the current State of Emergency Declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Judicial Council Amends Tolling Period for Statutes Limitations Impacted by COVID-19

On a unanimous vote yesterday, May 6, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance (“New Ordinance“) amending rules in the Los Angeles Municipal Code that temporarily prohibit the eviction of residential and commercial tenants in the City of Los Angeles for failure to pay rent due to COVID-19.  Notably, the New Ordinance would extend the prohibition period on evictions.  The original period was previously limited to the local emergency period as declared by Mayor Eric Garcetti.  For residential tenants, the new prohibition period would extend to include the “Local Emergency Period” plus 12 months after the end of such period.  And for commercial tenants the new period prohibiting evictions would extend through the Local Emergency Period plus 3 months after the end of the emergency period.  Please note that the final version of the New Ordinance was not available with the Council Clerk file as of the time of publication given that the ordinance was the subject of several amendments as it was considered by Council during yesterday’s virtual hearing that went into the evening.  Also, these amendments will not take effect until Mayor Garcetti signs the New Ordinance, which is expected to be completed in short order.
Continue Reading Los Angeles City Council Passes Ordinance to Expand Temporary Tenant Protections

In an earlier post, we covered the local Shelter-in-Place (“SIP”) orders, which severely restricted construction activities throughout the Bay Area.  This week the participating jurisdictions (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties) updated their SIP orders to ease restrictions on construction.  The changes took effect May 4 and will continue through May 31, unless further modified.
Continue Reading New Bay Area COVID-19 Orders Ease Restrictions on Construction and Impose New Safety Protocols

On April 23, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-54-20 (EO) which, in part, addresses an outstanding question related to the California Environmental Quality Act’s (CEQA) “public review” requirements, which quickly became problematic upon closure of the locations typically used to house and post CEQA-related documents.  These closures, which impact government buildings like the County Recorder’s Office, are just one of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant stay-at-home orders issued in an attempt to safeguard the public and flatten the curve.  Under this EO, while the time periods for public review remain the same, all requirements related to public filing, posting, notice, and public access to draft and final documents set forth in CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines, are exempted and suspended for the next 60 days (until June 22nd), including the Notice of Preparation, Notice of Comment Period, Notice of Intent to Adopt an EIR, Negative Declaration/Mitigated Negative Declaration, Notice of Determination and Notice of Exemption[1] so long as certain substitute procedures are followed.
Continue Reading Digital CEQA: New Executive Order Creates An Alternative Path For Complying With CEQA Notice, Posting And Public Review Requirements

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Interim Guidance regarding EPA decision-making with respect to the potential impacts of the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on field work at certain cleanup sites.  The Interim Guidance, which “supplements” a March 19 EPA guidance, applies to all contaminated sites where EPA is the lead agency or has direct oversight or responsibility, affecting various regulatory programs that were excluded from EPA’s March 26 COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion Memo, including hazardous waste cleanups under CERCLA and RCRA, among others.  This is an interim guidance, and EPA has made it clear that it will “update this guidance as the current situation evolves.”
Continue Reading US EPA’s COVID-19 Interim Guidance on Site Field Work Decisions

On April 9, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23 (the “Notice”) which expands the filing and payment deadline relief announced by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in March.  The March announcement gave taxpayers until July 15, 2020 to file their federal income tax returns and to pay federal income taxes, each of which were originally due on April 15, 2020.  The Notice extends additional key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses including certain deadlines applicable to taxpayers engaging in time-sensitive deferred like-kind exchanges.
Continue Reading Code Section 1031 Like Kind Exchange Deadlines Extended

Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) continued to issue orders, notices, and guidance related to the current novel coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of FERC and energy industry employees, and the continued reliability of the U.S. energy sector.  A summary of FERC’s relevant actions are provided below, including information regarding FERC’s operating status, extensions for filing deadlines and efforts to ease regulatory burdens during this crisis.
Continue Reading FERC Orders, Notices, and Other Guidance Regarding the Novel Coronavirus

As state and local governments act to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, relief for renters impacted by the coronavirus has come from both state and local policymakers.  In previous posts, we covered San Francisco’s and San Diego’s efforts to temporarily ban evicting residential and commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19.  In this post, we explain Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order, issued on March 27, creating a statewide moratorium on evicting renters impacted by COVID-19.  Here are key takeaways from the statewide Executive Order.
Continue Reading State-Level Rent Relief Due to COVID-19 Impacts: California Governor Newsom’s Executive Order Explained

On April 6, 2020, the State Judicial Council adopted emergency amendments to the California Rules of Court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  One important change that affects many real estate transactions and development projects tolls the statute of limitations for all civil causes of action from April 6, 2020, until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.  Among other things, this extends the date for initiating litigation challenging a CEQA document or a development approval, such as a tentative map or conditional use permit.  This also affects the date of “final approval” under many real estate purchase agreements and creates additional uncertainty for project proponents.
Continue Reading California Judicial Council Adopts Rule Tolling Statute of Limitations

In a continued effort to take aggressive steps to protect the health and welfare of its citizens from COVID-19, the City of San Diego (“City”) enacted a temporary moratorium on evictions to provide relief to residential and commercial tenants facing financial hardship related to the pandemic (the “Ordinance”) and established a Small Business Relief Fund (“SBRF”) to provide grants and forgivable or low-to zero-interest-rate loans to eligible small businesses for working capital.

Here is what you need to know about the Ordinance and the SBRF Program.


Continue Reading San Diego Responds to COVID-19 with Local Programs to Protect the Health of both Citizens and Businesses