(RightWing.org) – In late December, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA) of 2020. Then, in May 2021, he extended the moratorium through the end of August. The act prevented residential eviction and foreclosure proceedings against New Yorkers due to economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On August 12, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) temporarily blocked the portion of the CEEFPA barring landlords from challenging their tenants’ self-certification of financial hardship and denying them the right to an eviction hearing.
MORE SHADOW-DOCKET NEWS: The Supreme Court sides with New York landlords and blocks part of a state law that imposed a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic. Breyer, Sotomayor & Kagan dissent.https://t.co/TdT3v7azQZ
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) August 12, 2021
The unsigned temporary restraining order stated that the CEEFPA violated long-standing precedent that no one “can be a judge” in their own case consistent with protections granted by the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause.
It directed New York courts to consider COVID-related hardship as a defense in eviction hearings by assessing tenants’ financial status before and during the pandemic. The SCOTUS also instructed the lower courts to assess tenants’ current liquid assets and their ability to obtain government financial assistance.
Justice Stephen Breyer dissented from the opinion, joined by the other two liberal justices: Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. The order will remain in effect until a lower federal court in New York hears the case, finally giving landlords some hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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