Supreme Court lifts part of New York's eviction ban in win for landlords
The Supreme Court lifted part of New York's COVID-related moratorium on home evictions in a divided ruling on Thursday evening.
Why it matters: The court sided with a group of landlords who argued that the ban violates their rights, but the ruling's immediate effect is unclear. The New York ban is separate from a federal eviction moratorium recently extended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Driving the news: The emergency motion involves one part of a New York law that precludes landlords from contesting tenants' self-certification of financial hardship.
- The policy, which is set to expire at the end of the month, bars landlords from seeking an eviction hearing in court in such cases.
- Other protections in the law remain in place, however, such as directing New York courts to apply a COVID-related hardship defense in eviction proceedings, per the order.
What they're saying: "This scheme violates the Court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily 'no man can be a judge in his own case' consistent with the Due Process Clause," the majority wrote in the unsigned order.
The other side: "We must balance against the landlords’ hardship the hardship to New York tenants who have relied on [the law’s] protections and will now be forced to face eviction proceedings earlier than expected," wrote Justice Stephen Breyer, who dissented with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
- Ending the ban early "may lead to unnecessary evictions," Breyer argued, adding that the court should defer to the government on responses to the pandemic.
What to watch: A group of landlords and real estate companies has issued a legal challenge to the Biden administration's extended national ban.