LEGAL UPDATE - LATE FEES BACK ON / CDC MORATORIUM COURT RULINGS
As mentioned in a previous update, recent CDC guidance issued on its order now states that Landlords can file the eviction and go through judgment for possession – but just cannot get the sheriff out to forcibly remove. Accordingly, moving forward with eviction (after getting a CDC Declaration) should be fine – so if you wanted to move forward now with such an eviction we could do so and see where this new DC Circuit Order and the rest plays out when that happens. Of course, this is all with the backdrop of Governor Polis’s recent order increasing payment demand cure time to 30 days…which frustrates any immediate moves….
Denver judges had been reviewing this issue of going through to judgment, but recently took the position that they do not have to follow the CDC Guidance. Given this new DC Circuit ruling, perhaps the Denver judges will reconsider and allow evictions to proceed even though a CDC Declaration was provided. Also, Boulder has a court order requiring disclosure of the CDC Order and we will wait to see if this Order will be amended now.
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(Cont.) You may have heard some encouraging news that a federal district judge in the District of Columbia just issued an order yesterday vacating the eviction moratorium order from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The full impact of this ruling is still to be seen, and so news reports seeming to indicate that the CDC Eviction Moratorium is now over are exaggerated. As it pertains to the DC Circuit case, the Justice Department will be appealing and late yesterday the DC District Court Judge put a hold on her ruling pending the appeal. Further, there is a debate as to whether this Order is effective beyond the DC Circuit. Federal courts are divided into circuits, each with a number of states included. The DC Circuit covers the District of Columbia – but it also has some special jurisdiction related to review of certain federal agency action. This ruling – while it purports to vacate the CDC Order - may be limited in any event to evictions within the DC Circuit. Various tenant rights groups have already indicated their position that this ruling is limited to the DC Circuit.
This DC Circuit decision is just one of a half dozen or more cases in the US going against the CDC eviction moratorium. Most have been successful in favor of Landlords, but the impact of the success has been limited to those parties or jurisdictions, and further limited by some courts who have put stays/holds on the orders stopping the CDC while the cases go through appeal. So, while we have another judgment in favor of Landlords, and no less from the DC Circuit that handles agency review, the situation is still not resolved with any clarity.