A federal judge Wednesday ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its authority by putting in place the federal eviction moratorium. Several court rulings have attempted to strike down the moratorium, but all had limited application. There are now numerous conflicting court rulings at the district court level, with several judges ruling in favor of the moratorium and several ruling against it. While this latest ruling is written more starkly than previous ones, it likely has equally limited application impacting only the plaintiffs who brought the case or, at most, renters in the district court’s jurisdiction.
Within hours of the decision, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a notice of appeal of the decision and announced it intends to seek an emergency stay of the order pending appeal.
For North Carolina, Governor Cooper’s last executive order extending the affirmation of the CDC eviction order specifically states that rulings in other jurisdictions should not stop the order protections in the state. For more on this, please visit a recent discussion with Isaac Sturgill of Legal Aid NC: Housing Call: April 27, 2021.
Courts across the state continue to apply the eviction order inconsistently, leaving renters at-risk of being unhoused. Meanwhile, the state’s emergency rental assistance program remains closed to new applicants. It is vital that the state begin moving rental assistance out into the hands of those that need it.