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March 20, 2023

House Passes Bill to Allow Remote Participation in Eviction Proceedings

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation to allow Coloradans to participate remotely in eviction proceedings. This bill, sponsored by Representatives Mandy Lindsay and Iman Jodeh, would help ensure fewer Coloradans receive a default judgment simply because they cannot attend their eviction hearing in person. 

“We’re working to break down barriers and keep more Coloradans housed,” said Rep. Mandy Lindsay, D-Aurora. “Right now, if you don’t show up to your eviction proceeding in person, you automatically receive a default eviction judgment on your record, and this limits your opportunities to find future housing. This bill would allow all Coloradans to participate in their eviction proceeding remotely, making it easier for working families and those without reliable transportation to attend their hearings.” 

“Our bill works to remove barriers for Coloradans facing eviction to attend their court hearing by allowing remote participation,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “Whether lack of child care or inability to take time off of work, there are many reasons why someone might not be able to attend their eviction hearing in person. Our legislation allows Coloradans to pre-arrange remote participation which will reduce no-show rates, prevent automatic default judgment, and improve accessibility in Colorado’s court system.”

HB23-1186, which passed by a vote of 44 to 18, would allow individuals in residential eviction cases to participate in county court proceedings remotely. Under this bill, individuals must communicate with the courts if they would like to participate in their hearing remotely or in-person 48-hours before their hearing. HB23-1186 aims to improve accessibility for attending eviction proceedings especially for those living in rural areas, Coloradans with disabilities and additional circumstances that make it difficult to take time off work.

Data collected from courts in other states shows that by expanding ways to participate in eviction cases reduces “no-show” rates and improves court procedures. HB23-1186 is expected to decrease the number of Coloradans with a no-show, default eviction by over 7,800. 

HB23-1186 is supported by ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Poverty Law Project, 9to5 Colorado, Boulder County, AFDC Coalition, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Fiscal Institute, Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Community Economic Defense Project, and others.

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