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Landlords, homebuilders sue CDC over moratorium that bans evictions during pandemic

“It’s unconstitutional,” – plaintiff attorney Luke Wake

Updated: October 27, 2020 - 10:33am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Landlords and homebuilders have filed a federal suit against the CDC to get the courts to lift a moratorium the agency imposed last month on evictions related to coronavirus hardships.  

The lawsuit, Skyworks Ltd. v. CDC, was filed Friday in federal court in Ohio and names as defendants the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and agency Director Robert Redfield.

The CDC argues the eviction ban is needed to curb the spread of the virus. However, tenants can seek protection under the moratorium even if they are not experiencing financial hardship as a result of the virus, according to the Epoch Times

The pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed.

Tenants establish eligibility under the moratorium by providing their landlords with a CDC-approved declaration stating that they make less than $99,000 annually, are unable to pay rent because of a loss of income, have tried to obtain government assistance, will try to make partial rent payments, and will be homeless or will have to move in with others if they are evicted.

After they submit a declaration, a landlord can’t evict them, the Times also reports.

“It’s unconstitutional,” Luke Wake, an attorney with the Sacramento, California-based Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm representing landlords in this case, told the newspaper. “Federal agencies don’t get to just make up law.”