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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

D.C Circuit keeps CDC eviction moratorium in place

Courts Appellate D.C. Circuit Covid-19 Evictions CDC

Courts

On June 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a group of realtors’ motion to lift an administrative stay placed by a district court on its own order, in which it had previously ruled that the CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic exceeded the agency’s statutory authority with the temporary ban. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the district court vacated the CDC’s eviction moratorium and rejected the federal government’s request that the decision be narrowed, ruling that “when ‘regulations are unlawful, the ordinary result is that the rules are vacated—not that their application to the individual petitioner is proscribed.’” However, shortly after the federal government filed a notice of appeal, the district court stayed its own summary judgment order pending appeal.

In denying the plaintiffs’ motion to vacate the stay pending appeal, the appellate court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in staying its own ruling, and noted that the federal government has a good chance of winning its appeal. “[W]hile of course not resolving the ultimate merits of the legal question, we conclude that [the federal government] has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” the appellate court wrote, adding, among other things, that “Congress has expressly recognized that the agency had the authority to issue its narrowly crafted moratorium.” Moreover, the D.C. Circuit determined that the plaintiffs failed to show the likelihood of irreparable injury should the stay remain in place.

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