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Supreme Court strikes down new CDC Moratorium, will allow evictions to resume

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) ordered a new moratorium on residential evictions through October 3, 2021. Despite the numerous issues the Supreme Court has with the previous moratorium, the CDC issued the new Moratorium for counties with “substantial” or “high” rates of COVID-19 transmission.  Now, the United States Supreme Court has issued a decision on the constitutionality of the new Moratorium.

In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with an assortment of property owners and realtor trade associations that challenged the CDC on their authority to issue a sweeping Moratorium on residential evictions.  In an unsigned opinion, the High Court after giving “careful review” of the case “makes clear that the applicants are virtually certain to succeed on the merits of their argument that the CDC has exceeded its authority.” Furthermore, in line with their decision on the previous CDC moratorium, the Court stated, “It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened…Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.” Under this ruling, the CDC does not possess the authority to issue a Moratorium on evictions unless given specific authority to do so by Congress. As such, Landlords will be allowed to proceed with their evictions nationwide unless further prohibited by state restrictions.

What is the current state of Evictions in New York?

While the Moratorium issued by the CDC has ended, the state legislature in New York has yet to extend their statewide moratorium. On May 4, 2021, the previous Governor Cuomo extended the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. This extension acts to prolong the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions until August 31, 2021 for tenants who have suffered a COVID related hardship. It is unknown at this time if a further extension will be passed by the State. 

Have Questions About the Eviction Moratorium? 

Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC continues to monitor this ever-changing landscape. For additional questions regarding the implications of these decisions and related landlord/tenant issues, we invite you to contact Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC by calling 914-472-6202. We look forward to hearing from you.

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