A divided Supreme Court on Thursday night granted a request from a group of New York landlords to lift part of a state moratorium on residential evictions put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ruling in Chrysafis v. Marks came three days after a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., heard oral argument in a challenge to the Biden administration’s newly enacted federal moratorium on evictions in most of the country.
The state moratorium allows tenants in New York to avoid eviction by declaring that they have suffered “financial hardship” as a result of the pandemic. New York enacted the moratorium in 2020 and has extended it through Aug. 31, 2021.
The landlords went to federal court in New York to challenge the moratorium, arguing that it violates their right to due process by allowing tenants to put eviction proceedings on hold without any proof that the pandemic has affected them and without giving landlords a chance to rebut their assertions. A federal district court dismissed their challenge, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit turned down the landlords’ request to put the moratorium on hold while they appeal.