Eviction filings are on the rise nationwide, and Pima County is no exception, with filings exceeding 10,000 in 2023, according to data from the Arizona court system.

The most recent figures reveal a significant increase, with eviction filings in Pima County leaping from 5,703 in 2021 to 12,993 in 2023.

Eric Krznarich, the Presiding Constable for Pima County, attributes much of this surge to the economic challenges of recent years.

“Were seeing a lot of people try to triage their money [with] whats going to be the important [bill to pay] this month,” he said. “My kids need it. Well, I gotta get to work to make that money, I need gas,’ and when youre paying four dollars a gallon, that adds up.”

The 2023 eviction filings in Pima County marked the highest point since 2019, when there were 12,427 filings, a year before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Krznarich notes that the sharp increase from 2022, when only 5,703 evictions were filed, can be partly attributed to the pandemic’s onset, along with the prevalence of rental assistance programs and the postponement of evictions in many areas.

However, as many pandemic-era programs have now expired, and thousands face tough financial decisions, constables like Krznarich and Bill Lake find themselves balancing their duties with compassion.

“If you treat everybody as a human and talk to them and say, ‘Look, I know youre in a bad situation. Theres social services here in that brochure, they might be able to help you get into places you can afford.’ Explain the process to them and you get a lot less pushback,” Lake emphasized.