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Jones Day secures Supreme Court decision for property owners blocking CDC eviction moratorium

Clients Alabama Association of Realtors, Georgia Association of Realtors

Jones Day successfully represented property owners challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) nationwide moratorium on evictions. Backed by criminal penalties, the eviction moratorium prevents property owners from evicting certain tenants who fail to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal district court in Washington, D.C. agreed with Jones Day that the moratorium exceeds the agency’s statutory authority under the Public Health Service Act and vacated the moratorium nationwide. After the district court granted the government’s motion for a stay pending appeal, Jones Day asked the Supreme Court to vacate the stay.

On August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court granted Jones Day’s request to vacate the stay, allowing the district court’s judgment to take effect. According to the Court, the "moratorium has put the applicants, along with millions of landlords across the country, at risk of irreparable harm by depriving them of rent payments with no guarantee of eventual recovery. Despite the CDC’s determination that landlords should bear a significant financial cost of the pandemic, many landlords have modest means." The Court held that it "strains credulity to believe" that Congress granted "the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts" for the moratorium.

Alabama Association of Realtors v. HHS, No. 21A23 (U.S. Aug. 26, 2021)