By Chris Dolmetsch | Bloomberg
A federal judge ruled against landlord groups who were seeking to block the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s national moratorium on evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee in Atlanta on Thursday rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by a nonprofit called the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of a Virginia landlord. The group was joined by the National Apartment Association, which represents some 85,000 landlords responsible for 10 million rental units.
The judge said the public interest in controlling the spread of COVID-19 outweighed the landlords’ economic interest, saying their “economic harm pales in comparison to the significant loss of lives” that could occur if the order was blocked.
“In an unsurprising decision the court sided with the CDC, determining the greater harm lies with additional and preventable potential COVID spread than two more months of unpaid rent for specific landlords. As discussed on Episode 5 of the Rose Report – as plaintiffs, the Landlords bore the burden of convincing the court that an injunction restraining the CDC’s eviction moratorium was appropriate. This burden proved insurmountable as the court first decided that the CDC’s measures were within the scope of the agency’s authority and then determined the moratorium served the public interest. The court ruled in favor of the general public health interest knowing that the landlords still retained full rights to pursue unpaid rent, late charges, interest, and ultimately, evictions as well.”
Olen Lenets, Rose Law Group Attorney