Supreme Court blocks part of NY eviction moratorium, Hochul responds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked part of New York's moratorium on evictions, put into effect because of the coronavirus pandemic, less than a month before it was supposed to expire anyway.

Posted: Aug 12, 2021 9:51 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2021 10:47 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked part of New York's moratorium on evictions, put into effect because of the coronavirus pandemic, less than a month before it was supposed to expire anyway.

The legal issue is distinct from those surrounding a new moratorium that applies in most of the country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed last week.

Over three dissenting votes, the court said New York could no longer enforce a provision that allows renters to stave off eviction by submitting a hardship declaration form that tells the state they lost income or had more expenses during the pandemic or that moving would harm their health. The pause on evictions expires at the end of August. The court's ruling allows some evictions to resume.

"This scheme violates the Court's longstanding teaching that ordinarily 'no man can be a judge in his own case,'" the court wrote in a brief, unsigned opinion.

But Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in a dissenting opinion that the legal issue is not that clear. "Moreover, the challenged law will expire in less than three weeks," Breyer wrote, saying "such drastic relief" is not appropriate at this time. Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor joined his opinion.

A separate measure remains in place that protects renters if they can prove to a court they've suffered because of the pandemic.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul released a statement late Thursday evening:

"No New Yorker who has been financially hit or displaced by the pandemic should be forced out of their home. As New York State's next Governor, I look forward to working with the Legislature to quickly address the Supreme Court's decision and strengthen the eviction moratorium legislation. I will work with our partners in the Legislature to help get the funding available to those in need as soon as possible."

Lower federal courts had rejected the plea by New York landlords to allow evictions to resume and the state had urged the justices to follow suit.

One major difference between the New York and CDC moratoriums is that the state's legislature enacted the moratorium into law, along with providing billions of dollars in assistance to renters and landlords. Congress failed to extend the nationwide eviction moratorium before the CDC acted on its own.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2527230

Reported Deaths: 56169
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33439110849
Queens31559610296
Suffolk2398773609
Nassau2145703296
Bronx2078026754
New York1682394637
Westchester1437172340
Erie1065781950
Richmond890341936
Monroe845321188
Orange57620920
Rockland53178779
Onondaga52166762
Dutchess35671499
Albany30915390
Oneida28720589
Broome24552407
Niagara24076397
Saratoga20342201
Ulster17300280
Schenectady16779228
Rensselaer14839167
Putnam1250998
Chautauqua12449175
Oswego11708113
Chemung10966156
St. Lawrence10598127
Steuben10185173
Ontario9378110
Jefferson892476
Cayuga8674107
Sullivan849883
Wayne820284
Cattaraugus7752115
Genesee7038132
Herkimer6831128
Clinton675040
Tompkins652659
Fulton6365104
Madison6220102
Montgomery5993141
Livingston575571
Warren550184
Cortland535780
Tioga513072
Columbia5025111
Chenango470686
Allegany464197
Washington464167
Otsego459255
Wyoming440758
Greene440186
Orleans435587
Franklin430021
Lewis362138
Delaware357448
Seneca274663
Essex232731
Schoharie230121
Yates165728
Schuyler154417
Hamilton4383
Unassigned15130
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