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What can I do if I have an eviction order and I am in a special situation of vulnerability?

Sometimes the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Public Security can order evictions when the place is in unsanitary conditions or inhabited by a person not legally entitled to do so. In these cases, there could be legal options to protect the fundamental rights of evictees.

Our Constitution protects the right to adequate housing. This right has found special protection by the Constitutional Court when it comes to people in vulnerable conditions such as minors, older persons or people with disabilities.

The Constitutional Court has established that in administrative eviction procedures, the Ministry of Public Security – before taking possession of the property – must notify the PANI or CONAPAM, as appropriate, to guarantee the fundamental rights of evictees in a condition of vulnerability (judgment 3496-2020 of 9:30 a.m. on February 21, 2020).

The Court has also ordered that – before the issuance of a sanitary eviction order – the Ministry of Health must notify CONAPAM when elderly people live in the dwelling. In a recent case, the Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of an eviction order issued by the Ministry of Health and ordered CONAPAM to coordinate both a temporary and permanent solution to the housing situation of an elderly woman who lived with two relatives with disabilities (judgment 5282-2016 of 9:05 a.m. on April 22, 2016).

These precedents of the Constitutional Chamber suggest that the writ of amparo can be a useful tool to suspend or rescind eviction orders or administrative evictions in certain cases. This could occur when an eviction or administrative eviction is ordered in a dwelling inhabited by people in vulnerable conditions such as minors, older persons or people with disabilities without prior coordination with institutions such as PANI, CONAPAM and CONAPDIS. It could also occur when this prior coordination was carried out, but the corresponding institutions have not adopted temporary or definitive solutions to the housing situation of people in vulnerable conditions.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 4800-0248 or write to us at info@celigcr.com.

We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation