District Judge Rules CDC Eviction Moratorium Unconstitutional, DOJ Appeals

On February 25, 2021, U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker issued a ruling in Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) that declares the CDC eviction moratorium unconstitutional. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has already filed its notice of appeal and announced that the moratorium “remains in effect” for all landlords other than the specific parties to the Terkel case. The current CDC eviction moratorium runs through March 31, 2021.

In his decision, Judge Barker said that while “the court chooses not to issue an injunction at this time…Plaintiffs may, of course, seek an injunction should defendants threaten to depart from the declaratory judgment.” Should Judge Barker issue and injunction, it is likely the Department of Justice would seek a stay from the appellate court to keep the eviction moratorium in effect while the case is considered.

For context, three other district courts have upheld the CDC’s eviction moratorium: Brown v. Azar (Northern District of Georgia), Chambliss Enterprises LLC v. Redfield (Western District of Louisiana) and  KBW Investment Properties v. Azar (Southern District of Ohio).