CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Members of a Middleburg family say they were evicted from their home for late rent payments despite a state order that’s intended to protect families from evictions due to non-payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the order, a moratorium is in place and evictions cannot be finalized until Aug. 2. The state’s order for eviction protection initially expired July 2, which is the day the Musicos -- a family of four -- received an eviction notice at the home where they’ve lived for seven years.
Angela Musico says the pandemic has made it difficult for her family to make ends meet.
“We were behind on our rent. We absolutely were at fault,” Musico said.
The order was signed by a judge on on July 2.
“It was a writ giving the owner possession of the property and telling us we had to vacate within 10 days,” Musico said.
The Florida Supreme Court’s order for eviction extensions expired on July 2. But that same day, the Supreme Court amended the order to default to the governor’s order, meaning evictions would be extended to August.
Musico said she didn’t know what to do and couldn’t afford a lawyer, so instead of fighting the eviction, she, her husband and her two children left.
“We got out. We spent until 4 o’clock in the morning getting my children out, because I’m not going to have the sheriff’s office show up and arrest me in front of my children,” Musico said.
The circuit judge’s office told News4Jax it can’t comment on the matter. It’s unclear why the family received the eviction on the same day a new order was put in place.