Stay Grants Time for HHS Appeal; State Orders Remain
The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., has vacated the eviction moratorium by the CDC, ruling the center overstepped its authority, perhaps statutorily and constitutionally.
The case was filed Nov. 20, 2020 against the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services by the Alabama Association of Realtors. The realtors association filed suit against HHS, which oversees the CDC, when the center initiated a broad 120-day eviction moratorium following the expiration of a similar moratorium for properties backed by government loans. Congress extended the former moratorium once, and the CDC eviction moratorium has been extended three times, now set to expire June 30.
U.S. Department of Justice the day following the ruling was granted a stay to submit an appeal.
“It is also important to note that this ruling only applies to the federal eviction moratorium and not state or local moratoriums which remain unchanged,” the Manufactured Housing Institute stated in a release to its membership following the ruling. “This ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia follows similar actions by other District Courts across the country that have found the CDC federal eviction moratorium unconstitutional.”
McGlinchey Stafford attorney Jeffrey Barringer said it is unsurprising the court found the CDC eviction moratorium unconstitutional.
“There are now at least a half-dozen similar cases, with the majority finding the CDC exceeded its authority,” Barringer said. “While landlords and creditors may revel in another win, several jurisdictions still have state-level moratoriums.
“This opinion might ultimately prove persuasive, especially if the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit weighs in, but from a practical standpoint, it doesn’t change state law. It also doesn’t affect voluntary moratoriums, such as the FHFA’s REO eviction moratorium, which has been extended through the end of June,” he said. “Regardless, it is one less obstacle for landlords and creditors — especially in those states that have allowed their moratoriums to expire or that provide an exception, such as a voluntary surrender agreement.”
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