First we had Philadelphia. Then Cook County. Now the sheriff of Butler County, Ohio is refusing to enforce evictions.
Saying that evicting former owners and tenants during winter weather and a recession is “heartless,” Butler County, Ohio sheriff Richard Jones has become the third sheriff this year to refuse to process some eviction orders. Jones on Tuesday ordered his deputies to ensure that people have shelter before they’re forced out of their homes, according to a report by WLWT television in Hamilton, Ohio; otherwise, he said his department will refuse to honour all eviction orders.
Jones sent a letter to Ohio governor Ted Strickland, as well, asking for a state order to halt all evictions for the winter months, although its unclear what would constitute “winter months.” A call to Strickland’s office for comment very early Thursday morning had not yet been returned when this story was published.
“There has to be some attention drawn to somebody that’s going to be thrown out of their houses that doesn’t have anywhere else to go,” Jones told the television news station.
This will no doubt reduce the foreclosure rate in Butler County. But this move should increase the mortgage deliquiency rate in the county. If the bank can’t foreclose, that’s certainly an incentive to stop paying your mortgage when money gets tight.