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Last Post 02 May 2022 06:07 PM by  Jailyn Sloane
R-22-0004 Rules 4(d) and 9, Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions
 15 Replies
Author Messages
Maxine Becker
New Member
Posts:2 New Member

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04 Jan 2022 06:40 PM
    Maxine M. Becker
    Wildfire: Igniting Community Action to End Poverty in Arizona
    340 E. Palm Lane, Suite 315
    Phoenix, Arizona 85004
    Ph: 602-604-0640
    Fax: 602-604-0640
    [email protected]
    Arizona Bar No. 19951

    This Petition requests amendments to Rules 4(d) and Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions. The proposed amendments, regarding procedures to satisfy and vacate eviction judgments, will bring the Rules into conformity with Arizona Revised Statutes and harmonize them with the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure and the Arizona Rules of Small Claims Procedure.

    Filed: January 4, 2022

    Would amend Rules 4(d) and 9 of the Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions to modify the procedures governing the satisfaction of a judgment and to adopt a new rule governing the vacating of an eviction judgment.

    Comments must be submitted on or before Monday, May 2, 2022.
    Any reply by a petitioner must be submitted on or before Wednesday, June 1, 2022.


    Attachments
    Danielle F
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    08 Feb 2022 02:17 PM
    Name: Danielle Fischer
    Mailing Address: 3638 E. Kaibab Pl., Chandler, AZ 85249
    Telephone Number: (480) 986-4784
    Email Address: [email protected]

    I am in support of this Rule Change Petition. The Rule Change Petition, if approved, will accomplish three things:

    1. Make the rules for eviction judgments consistent with the rules, statutes, and administrative orders that govern other Arizona civil judgments.

    2. Provide a path forward for tenants who pay off their eviction judgment to rehabilitate their credit and rental history.

    3. Promote the payment of eviction debt, benefitting landlords.

    This Rule Change Petition is important because tenants have difficulty locating housing after an eviction judgment, in part due to past court judgments. Removing barriers to seeking a satisfaction of judgment and establishing specific authority for a party to file a motion to vacate an eviction judgment that has been satisfied, reversed, or discharged will help remove these barriers.
    Keith Bentele
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    18 Feb 2022 07:44 PM
    Name: Keith Gunnar Bentele
    Mailing Address: 901 N 13th Ave Ste 105, Tucson, AZ, 85705
    Telephone number: (954) 621-5141
    Email address: [email protected]

    I am strongly in support of this Rule Change Petition. The main reason I see this change as important is that it will allow tenants who pay off their eviction judgment to rehabilitate their credit and rental history. As a research professor at the University of Arizona who studies housing insecurity and homelessness in Pima County, I am very concerned about the impacts of ongoing market trends on housing insecurity in Arizona.

    Arizona has been experiencing a dramatic increase in rental costs over the past two years. Tucson, historically a city with a very affordable rental market, has been experiencing an accelerating rise in rents over the last two years. Multiple data sources indicate a 14%-18% increase in average rents between 2020 and 2021 and median rent is up 25% between 2019 and 2021. These increases are occurring in a housing market with an unusually low rental vacancy rate, many individuals living on fixed incomes, and a substantial proportion of households who were already considered “severely cost burdened renters” prior to these recent increases. Given Tucson’s status as a city with a comparatively high poverty rate and a large proportion of low wage workers, these specific conditions of an inadequate supply of affordable housing in combination with large rent increases have the potential to displace significant numbers of residents in the very near and medium term. This rule change will reduce the difficulty of finding new housing for the potentially large number of renters displaced by these trends via eviction for those who pay off their eviction judgement. This rule change is a small and very reasonable change that will reduce significant hardship, and has the potential to slightly ease the scope of the current challenge of housing insecurity and homelessness in Arizona.
    Samuel A. Thumma
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    24 Feb 2022 01:05 PM
    To Whom It May Concern,

    Attached is a PDF Comment submitted by the Arizona Commission on Access to Justice unanimously supporting the changes requested in this Petition.

    Please let me know if you have any questions about this Comment or if it does not come through in usable form.

    Thank you.

    Sam

    Samuel A. Thumma
    Chair, Arizona Commission on Access to Justice
    Judge, Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One
    1501 West Washington Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85007-3329
    Telephone: (602) 452-6700
    Attachments
    Charles Adornetto
    New Member
    Posts:10 New Member

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    14 Apr 2022 12:32 PM
    Gerald A. Williams
    Justice of the Peace
    Arizona Bar No. 018947
    North Valley Justice Court
    14264 West Tierra Buena Lane
    Surprise, AZ 85301
    (602) 372-2000
    [email protected]

    Presiding Judge Anna Huberman, on behalf of the Maricopa County Justice Court Bench, hereby submits the attached comment with respect to this pending petition.

    As discussed in the attached, the Bench takes no position on policy issues; we do desire to provide some feedback on the proposed language and on the structure of the suggested amendments.
    Attachments
    Jean Moreno
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    18 Apr 2022 08:10 PM
    I am writing in support of the rule Petition to Amend the Rules of Eviction Procedure for Eviction Actions. These changes will provide an equal opportunity for tenants that have paid their past debt to not continue to suffer the consequences of an already traumatizing situation. These changes are similar to rules and statues in place for other types of judgments and ensure that tenants that have paid their debts have the same rights as every other civil debtor in Arizona. This issue is critical in our community because many times tenants with an eviction judgment are forced to accept housing of last resort in unsafe or poor living conditions and do not know their rights as tenants. This contributes to predatory leasing practices, reinforces bad ownership behavior, and disproportionately affects vulnerable populations. The proposed amendments will provide an incentive for payment of rental debts and will help families overcome future barriers to housing which can ultimately contribute to homelessness. This Rule Petition creates a path forward for tenants after an eviction judgment, incentivizes the payment of debt, and makes Arizona's eviction process more fair and just. Thank you for your consideration.

    Jean Moreno
    5850 W Glendale Ave, Ste B63
    Glendale, AZ 85301
    623.930.2973
    [email protected]
    Moises Gallegos
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    19 Apr 2022 01:25 PM
    I am writing in support of the Rule Petition to Amend the Rules of Eviction Procedure for Eviction Actions.

    This Rule Change Petition is important because tenants have difficulty locating housing after an eviction judgment, in part because of their past eviction judgment. Arizona tenants who pay their past debts should not continue to bear the consequences of eviction by living in unstable or poor housing conditions. The rule changes in this Petition mirror the rules and statutes in place for other judgment debtors and ensures that tenants who have paid their debts have the same rights and opportunities to have their debts satisfied and vacated as every other civil debtor in Arizona.

    Additionally, the proposed amendments in the Rule Petition provide an incentive for the payment of a rental debt, which is also a good thing for landlords.

    The Rule Petition creates a path forward for tenants after an eviction judgment, incentivizes the payment of a debt, and makes Arizona’s eviction process more fair and just.

    Having served nearly 30 years with the Department of Economic Security and 17 years with the City of Phoenix including the positions of Director of the City of Phoenix Human Services Department, I can tell you first hand how important this amendment is. The rental world is currently a very unforgiving system and we need changes like this to assist at risk households in having an opportunity to move forward.

    Thank you,
    Moises Gallegos
    7317 W. Libby St.
    Glendale, AZ 85308
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile: 602.206.2231
    Susan Hallett
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    25 Apr 2022 03:50 PM
    April 22, 2022

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing in support of the Rule Petition to Amend the Rules of Eviction Procedure for Eviction Actions.

    This Rule Change Petition is important because tenants have difficulty locating housing after an eviction judgment, in part because of their past eviction judgment. Arizona tenants who pay their past debts should not continue to bear the consequences of eviction by living in unstable or poor housing conditions. The rule changes in this Petition mirror the rules and statutes in place for other judgment debtors and ensures that tenants who have paid their debts have the same rights and opportunities to have their debts satisfied and vacated as every other civil debtor in Arizona.

    Our staff work every day to help families stay housed. This is one more way to provide support to those families doing the right thing.

    Additionally, the proposed amendments in the Rule Petition provide an incentive for the payment of a rental debt, which is also a good thing for landlords.

    The Rule Petition creates a path forward for tenants after an eviction judgment, incentivizes the payment of a debt, and makes Arizona’s eviction process more fair and just.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Susan Hallett, MEd, BSW
    Deputy Human Services Director
    City of Phoenix
    200 W. Washington St., 18th Floor
    Phoenix, Arizona 85003
    (602) 262-4522
    [email protected]

    Andrew Flagg
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    29 Apr 2022 05:06 PM
    The pending Petition to amend Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions (RPEA) 4(d) and 9 would align the RPEA with comparable Rules of Civil Procedure and statutes. It will promote payment of eviction-judgment debt while imposing no new burden on landlords, and may help tenants rehabilitate their credit and rental histories post-eviction. The Pima County Community & Workforce Development Department urges the Court to adopt the Petition.

    Background

    In 2021, Pima County created the Office of Emergency Eviction Legal Services, which is housed in the County’s Community & Workforce Development (CWD) Department. The Office provides free legal services to qualifying tenants, along with navigators (available to all litigants) who help connect litigants with available resources, including rental assistance, other housing resources, and help finding a job. The County, primarily thorough CWD, also directly and indirectly provides an array of services aimed at eviction and homelessness prevention, including its Community Assistance Division, which administers the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and its Homeless Services Division, which administers a variety of federally funded housing programs.

    Although resources are available to keep tenants housed, the critical shortage of affordable housing in Pima County is a key limiting factor. Finding affordable housing for tenants who have been previously evicted is even harder, because the eviction record may follow them, even if their judgment debt is paid. Accordingly, CWD supports this Petition because it would provide tenants a clearer path toward rehabilitating their rental and credit histories, all while encouraging payment of judgment debts and imposing no new burden on landlords.

    Reasons CWD Supports the Petition

    1. The RPEA should align with comparable civil rules and statutes. The Petition would do two things. First, it would provide a 30-day deadline for landlords to satisfy judgments when the debt is paid. Second, it would allow courts to vacate judgments when the judgment debt is fully satisfied. Both of these new provisions already exist in comparable civil rules and statutes. In small-claims proceedings, when a judgment is paid, the judgment creditor has a 30-day deadline to file a satisfaction of judgment. A.R.S. § 22-252(A). And both the Arizona Rules of Small Claims Procedure (16(a)(4)) and Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure (60(b)(5)) allow the court to vacate a judgment when “the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged.” The Petition would merely amend RPEA 4(b) and 9 to align with these comparable provisions. Consistency among these provisions should be encouraged.

    2. The Petition will encourage payment of judgment debts. Under the current rules, a tenant who pays a judgment debt faces uncertainty. The landlord is not required to file a satisfaction of judgment within a particular timeframe, and the tenant can only compel satisfaction if they can prove the landlord cannot be located—a burdensome standard even for a represented tenant to meet. Moreover, even when a satisfaction is filed, there is no explicit provision allowing the underlying judgment to be vacated. A tenant in this situation arguably has little incentive to pay the debt. The Petition would change that by providing a clear timeline and procedure to satisfy the judgment, followed by clear authority for the court to vacate the underlying judgment, helping the tenant rehabilitate their rental and credit history.

    3. The Petition will not burden landlords. The Petition imposes no new requirement on landlords. Just like any judgment creditor, a landlord with an eviction judgment in their favor must satisfy it when the debt is paid. The Petition merely provides a timeframe in which to do that and an easier path for the tenant to compel satisfaction when the landlord fails to do so within that timeframe. And the amendment to RPEA 9 requires nothing of landlords; it merely provides the court explicit authority to vacate judgments when satisfied, providing clarity to litigants and the court.

    Conclusion

    The Petition’s modest proposed changes would align the RPEA with comparable rules and statutes and provide tenants a clear path to rehabilitating their credit and rental histories, while imposing no additional burdens on landlords. It should be adopted.

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    Andrew L. Flagg
    Deputy Director, Pima County Community & Workforce Development
    2797 E. Ajo Way
    Tucson, AZ 85713
    (520) 724-8508
    [email protected]
    Chris H
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    01 May 2022 12:55 AM
    HULL, HOLLIDAY & HOLLIDAY P.L.C.
    7000 North 16th Street, Suite 120-#484
    Phoenix, Arizona 85020-5547
    (602) 230-0088 office; (602) 230-7421 fax
    [email protected]
    Andrew M. Hull, AZ Bar 004153
    Denise M. Holliday, AZ Bar 017275
    Kevin W. Holliday, AZ Bar 017276
    Matthew R. Schlabach, AZ Bar 034118
    Christopher T. Hoynicki, AZ Bar 034118
    Judy Drickey-Prohow, AZ Bar 005796

    Hull, Holliday & Holliday LPC is a law firm in Maricopa County, Arizona, whose practice substantially involves matters relating to landlord and tenant issues. For the reasons articulated below, we formally file our Response to the Rule Change Petition filed by the Petitioners. Additionally, we join in the reasons stated in the Responses filed by several Maricopa County Justices of the Peace.

    Petitioners, who represent or advocate for tenants in eviction cases, have proposed amending Rules 4(d) and 9, RPEA, purportedly in order to remove barriers to tenants who have been evicted for a variety of issues. In order to accomplish this purpose, Petitioners urge the Court to (1) amend Rule 4(d) to require landlords to file a satisfaction of judgment with the Court within thirty (30) days after the judgment has been satisfied; (2) permit a judgment debtor to file a motion to compel entry a satisfaction of judgment in situations where the judgment debtor asserts that the debt has been paid and landlord cannot be found, regardless of whether the judgment debtor has exercised due diligence in attempting to locate the landlord, and (3) amend Rule 9 in order to allow a judgment debtor to file a motion with the Court to be relieved from the judgment when (a) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged, or (b) for “any other reason justifying relief.”

    Petitioners assert that these rule changes will bring the RPEA in pari materia with rules regarding small claims actions and the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.

    There is a reason why the Court has created different rules relating to different causes of action. In doing so the Court has recognized that different policy and other considerations affect different kinds of claims. Indeed, while an eviction action is by its nature a claim asserting breach of contract, there is a greater urgency in eviction actions to obtain a fast and legally sound remedy than, e.g., disputes between large corporations where the primary issue is obtaining monetary relief or small claims cases where the only matters at issue involve monetary claims.

    In contrast eviction actions generally seek two (2) kinds of remedies: (1) a monetary judgment when rent is unpaid, and (2) possessory judgments for a variety of reasons, including criminal activity, health and safety reasons, material falsifications, and other substantial breaches of the lease agreement. Petitioners’ proposal to amend the RPEA appears to take into account the first reason for eviction filings, but not the second.

    As a starting point then, the fact that these proposed changes create the same standards for eviction actions as for small claims or general contractual disputes is not a reason to change the rules. Any rule changes to the RPEA should be made only if those changes are necessary in order to ensure fairness to both parties to a residential landlord and tenant dispute.
    The proposed rule changes advocated by Petitioners do not meet these criteria or accomplish these goals.

    The first change they propose is to require landlords to file a satisfaction of judgment within thirty (30) days of the date that the judgment has been paid in full. This proposed change presupposes that the judgment can be “satisfied” as long as the monetary amount identified on the judgment are paid. It fails to take into account that “judgments” usually require more than the payment of back rent and other assessed fees. Among other things, judgments in eviction cases almost always involve issues of possession and the fact that a tenant has paid a monetary judgment in full does not mean that the judgment is satisfied if the tenant still resides in the premises and/or refuses to leave.

    This proposed change also imposes a heavy burden upon small landlords, including landlords who may own only one or two properties. These landlords are often as ignorant of the rule requirements as the tenants for whom Petitioners advocate. Imposing this kind of requirement on small landlords will disproportionately result in confusion and distress to small landlords who are the largest providers of low income housing, with the likely result that more of them will need to hire attorneys and pass those costs on to all of their residents, harming both the landlord, whose resources are already limited, and the tenant who will likely incur experience higher rents commensurate with the landlord’s routine legal fees and/or loss of housing, as many small landlords decide to go out of business rather than expend their limited resources attempting to comply with the court’s rules changes.

    The second proposed change is to permit a judgment debtor to file a motion to compel entry of a satisfaction of judgment in situations where the judgment debtor asserts that the debt has been paid and landlord cannot be found, regardless of whether the judgment debtor has exercised due diligence in attempting to locate the landlord. Rule 4(d) already permits a tenant or attorney to seek a satisfaction of judgment when he or she has exercised due diligence in attempting to locate the landlord.

    This change unbalances the current balance protecting the rights of both landlords and tenants, as it permits tenants – without having to show that they made reasonable efforts to find the landlord and serve notice upon him or her – to clear their records and satisfy the judgments against them.

    Just as landlords are required to prove that they provided notice to tenants about lease violations, or to demonstrate that they made reasonable efforts to do so, the existing rule requires tenants to provide reasonable notice to landlords if they want to satisfy their judgments, giving the landlord an opportunity to come into court to oppose the tenant’s action if the judgment has not, indeed, been completely satisfied. Under the proposed changes, Petitioners would permit tenants to essentially appear ex parte and present their request without notice to the landlord who obtained the judgment if the tenant merely asserts that the debt has been paid and that the landlord cannot be found. Under the proposed changes, no proof of satisfaction or attempted notice to the landlord is required.

    Petitioner’s final proposal is that the Court amend Rule 9, RPEA, to allow a judgment debtor to file a motion with the Court asking to be relieved from the judgment when (a) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged, or (b) for “any other reason justifying relief.”

    Rule 9, RPEA already permits motions for reconsideration (Rule 9(g)), motions to dismiss (Rule 9(f), motions for judgment on the pleadings (Rule 9(e)), motions to amend a judgment (Rule 9(d)), and “other appropriate motions” (Rule 9(h)). It is not clear what Petitioner’s proposed amendment would do that Rules 9(d)(e)(f) and (g) do not do other than create confusion and ambiguity, and in the process, increase the burdens already imposed on an overworked court system. One can imagine a multitude of reasons why a tenant would desire a judgment to be completely removed from their record, but this proposed rule change fails to insert any guard rails into this procedure. As articulated by the response filed by several Justices of the Peace, future creditors and landlords rely in part on court records when determining whether to lease their asset to an applicant. The decision to remove that Judgment completely from court record simply because someone has determined that the tenant may experience some consequences for past actions will harm that application decision process and likely result in a negative impact to all future tenants as the risk created by this new rule impacts the entire industry. Future landlords and other creditors should continue to be able to review court actions that resulted in either monetary awards or rulings that the tenant engaged in illegal acts or otherwise breached their contracts. This proposed rule, while likely well-intentioned, fails to address the various types of eviction actions that result in Judgments and fails to protect all parties’ rights equally. Finally, there are numerous reasons why a Judgment should not be vacated even if one aspect of the order has been performed by the tenant.

    Based on the above, Respondents strongly encourage the Court to deny Petitioner’s proposed amendments in full.

    Respectfully submitted this 29th day of April 2022.

    /s/Denise Holliday
    Denise Holliday
    And
    /s/ Judy Drickey-Prohow
    Judy Drickey-Prohow
    For, Hull, Holliday & Holliday
    Attachments
    Scott Baluha
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    02 May 2022 10:31 AM
    Attached are comments submitted by the Manufactured Housing Communities of Arizona (the "MHCA"). As more fully outlined in the comments, the MHCA opposes the rule change as this is a policy matter which should be left to the discretion of the legislature.
    Attachments
    Brian Mayer, PhD
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    02 May 2022 01:19 PM
    Name: Brian Mayer, PhD
    Mailing Address: 10626 N Sand Canyon Pl, Oro Valley, AZ 85737
    Email address: [email protected]

    I am strongly in support of this Rule Change Petition. All too often, tenants are severely disadvantaged in eviction court compared to landlords and this simple rule change will provide an important opportunity for tenants who have paid their eviction judgment to protect their credit and rental history. As a professor at the University of Arizona and director of the Tucson Poverty Project, my team has interviewed more than 1,500 low-income residents of Southern Arizona. Housing remains a universal challenge and access to affordable housing today has been exceptionally challenging. An eviction judgment can follow a tenant throughout their lives and place a near-unsurmountable barrier in their way of finding affordable housing.

    This rule change mirrors that of other states and can significantly reduce the difficulty of finding new housing for the potentially large number of renters displaced by these trends via eviction for those who pay off their eviction judgement.
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:205 Basic Member

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    02 May 2022 02:13 PM
    Stanley Silas
    881 East Gail Drive
    Gilbert, AZ 85296
    (480) 415-9056
    [email protected]
    Attachments
    Kory Langhofer
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    02 May 2022 05:11 PM
    Kory Langhofer
    649 N Fourth Avenue, First Floor
    Phoenix, Arizona 85003
    Desk: (602) 382-4078
    Cell: (602) 571-4275
    [email protected]
    Arizona Bar No. 024722

    Attached are AMAs comments regarding R-22-0004.
    Attachments
    Jailyn Sloane
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    02 May 2022 06:07 PM
    Name: Jailyn Sloane
    Mailing Address: 560 S. Rubio Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701
    Telephone Number: (520) 982-9045
    Email Address: [email protected]

    I am strongly in support of the Rule Change Petition. Once an eviction is placed on a tenant's record, it can haunt them for years. Finding affordable housing is already becoming increasingly difficult due to the prices of rental properties skyrocketing over 20% in the last 2 years, while minimum wage remains at a mere $12.80, this has become an unlivable wage for single earning households. Adding an eviction record to the scenario makes it virtually impossible for the renter to find a place to live as eviction is grounds for automatic denial in the application process. As a Sociology Student at the University of Arizona, I participated in the Poverty Project Workshop and interviewed several members of the community in Pima County who experience hardships due to an old eviction judgment and/or financial instability. Changing this Rule could be life-changing for many residents in Pima County by significantly improving their living situations, not to mention mitigating the current housing insecurity we are currently seeing within our own city.
    Maxine Becker
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

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    31 May 2022 01:06 PM
    Maxine M. Becker
    Wildfire: Igniting Community Action to End Poverty in Arizona
    340 E. Palm Lane, Suite 315
    Phoenix, Arizona 85004
    Ph: 602-604-0640
    Fax: 602-604-0640
    [email protected]
    Arizona Bar No. 19951

    Petitioners submit their Reply in Support of Rule Petition R-22-0004, Rules 4(d) and 9, Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions.
    Attachments


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