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Recent Judge Rulings Against CDC Enforcement of Evictions

Separate federal judges have ruled against the enforcement of the CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium, which was extended to June 30, 2021 late last month. The decisions are the latest in the legal wrangling around the CDC order, but they are not definitive nationwide.

The most recent win is a case made against the US Government (the Tiger Lily case) was ruled in favor of the plaintiff and struck down the CDC’s Order as unlawful and unenforceable for all owners and managers in the Western District of Tennessee.  The Government immediately filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which is the. appeals court for that District below the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The Sixth Circuit denied the government’s motion to stay or suspend the lower court’s order while the appeal is pending, which is the first court to do so. This means that the lower court order declaring the CDC order as unenforceable remains in effect in the Western District of Tennessee.

On Feb. 25, 2021 Judge John Barker of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas ruled in Lauren Terkel et al. v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the CDC eviction order is unconstitutional. There will likely be an appeal by the CDC which could stay this decision.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled that the agency exceeded its authority because the CDC is limited to dealing with infected animals, objects, or properties and declared the CDC order unenforceable.

Also, late in 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana rejected a similar constitutional challenge to the CDC's authority that was approved by the Texas court.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) joined the New Civil Liberties Alliance in a lawsuit challenging the CDC’s unlawful order halting residential evictions through December 31, 2020. The suit, Richard Lee Brown, et al. v. Secretary Alex Azar, et al., is still pending.