Key Highlights

  • Judge lifts CDC’s eviction ban 6 weeks before its expiration date
  • Decision comes after 7-month legal battle between Alabama Association of Realtors/Georgia Association of REALTORS and US HUD

Federal Judge Lifts CDC Eviction Ban

Six weeks before the nationwide eviction ban was to expire, Judge Dabney L. Friedrich upended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction ban.

As plaintiffs, the Alabama Association of Realtors and the Georgia Association of Realtors plus others filed this case against the CDC seven months ago when the CDC extended its eviction ban to include properties beyond those receiving federal assistance.

Plaintiffs had argued the CDC, a federal government entity, had overstepped its authority by extending its eviction moratorium to non-GSE (non- government sponsored enterprise) properties.  Seven months later and six-weeks before the expiration date Judge Friedrich agreed.

Friedrich’s Opinio

Friedrich wrote in his opinion regarding this CDC eviction moratorium that, “It is the role of the political branches, and not the courts, to assess the merits of policy measures designed to combat the spread of disease, even during a global pandemic.  The question for the Court is a narrow one:  Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium?  It does not.”

Potential Ramifications of Friedrich’s Decision

Landlords and property owners have challenged the CDC’s eviction moratorium from the get-go saying that such an eviction ban puts “undue” financial burdens on business owners.

Luke Wake, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation and legal representative for landlords in cases like this one, said, “Today’s decision…vindicates our argument.

Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, believes that Friedrich’s decision may likely affect renters in Alabama and Georgia only, not renters living in other districts outside Friedrich’s court jurisdiction and authority.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)agreed with Yentel’s opinion and also expressed its full support of renters’ rights

Now What?

Within hours of Friedrich’s decision, the Department of Justice filed an appeal and also asked for a stay of decision until the appeal judgment is determined.  Both were granted.

Essentially, no actions will be taken regarding Friedrich’s ruling until the appeal is decided within the US Appellate Court system.


Thanks to Inman and the Washington Post.

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