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SCOTUS just issued an emergency writ of injunction against NY state's COVID eviction law

Posted By: William Shadbolt - BOD Advocacy , Announcements ,

"If a tenant self-certifies financial hardship, Part A of CEEFPA generally precludes a landlord from contesting that certification and denies the landlord a hearing. This scheme violates the Court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily “no man can be a judge in his own case” consistent with the Due Process Clause."

To give you an idea of how unusual it is for SCOTUS to issue an emergency writ of injunction, I believe the last one was six years ago. In fact they can only be issued if “the legal rights at issue [we]re indisputably clear and, even then, sparingly and only in the most critical and exigent circumstances.” South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 590 U. S. ___, ___ (2020) (ROBERTS, C. J., concurring)".

The issues raised in the writ where:

(1) Whether New York’s eviction moratorium law, which continues to block property owners from pursuing eviction proceedings or otherwise challenging their tenants’ bald claims of COVID-19 “hardship,” and compels them to serve as the government’s mouthpieces in transmitting government-drafted messages, declaration forms, and lists of recommended legal service providers to their tenants, deprives these property owners of their due process rights and violates their First Amendment rights against compelled speech; and (2) whether the courts below erred in concluding that Jacobson v. Massachusetts requires the application of deferential, rational basis review in evaluating constitutional challenges to government action taken in response to a public health emergency, particularly where, as here, New York has declared its “state of emergency” to be over.

What impact this will have on the current lawsuits in both state and federal court challenging Seattle's and Washington's eviction moratoria remains to be seen but it is clear that a majority of the US Supreme Court have grave doubts about the legality of the continually extended bans.