In an interview with Law360, Catherine Weiss, partner and Chair of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest, praises the proactive actions taken by the New Jersey judiciary to address the tsunami of evictions anticipated in in the state after the eviction moratorium put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted. Weiss, who served on a special committee of experts appointed to develop solutions to the imminent problem, says: “Many court systems would have reacted to this onslaught by thinking, ‘OK, how do we clear cases faster?’ And that is absolutely the wrong impulse, and [New Jersey’s] court resisted that impulse, and asked instead the right question, which is, ‘Given the volume, how do we make sure that if evictions are happening, they’re happening for reasons that are sound?’”

However, Weiss cautions that the courts can only address part of the issue. She continues: “What the court can do, and is doing, is take steps to try to ensure that when this wave hits, they’ve taken care to make sure that due process is provided. The eviction prevention piece of this, the piece that’s really about preventing mass displacement, is really in many ways outside the control of the judiciary. That’s a question of money.” She warns that the federal assistance already pledged may not be enough: “The need still outstretches what’s been provided by a lot. It’s going to clear out neighborhoods that have been at risk for a long time.”