Landlords Are Suing to Overturn State Eviction Moratoriums. State Legislators Want to Extend and Expand Them.

What started as a largely uncontroversial emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic has now become subject of intense legal and policy battles.

by Christian Britschgi

Eviction moratoriums were one of the first policies cities, states, and the federal government adopted in response to the coronavirus pandemic under the largely uncontroversial logic that people couldn’t shelter in place without any shelter.

As the crisis has dragged on, however, these temporary protections have become the subject of intense legal and policy battles as landlords sue to overturn them, state legislators scramble to extend them, and Congress mulls imposing a blanket eviction policy on the whole country.

On Monday, California landlords Peggy Christensen and Peter Martin filed a lawsuit in the Kern County Superior Court challenging a blanket, indefinite suspension of evictions issued by the California Judicial Council, the rulemaking body for the state’s courts, in early April.

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