COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Despite the reinstating of a controversial federal eviction moratorium, the Franklin County Municipal Court will ignore it citing a prior appeals court decision that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority.
The administration of the municipal court published a press release Thursday saying it is legally bound by a Court of Appeals ruling to not follow the eviction moratorium order issued by the CDC.
On July 23rd the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that the CDC lacked authority to impose the national moratorium.
After it expired, the agency reinstated it on Aug. 3, but the Franklin County Municipal Court has decided that the unanimous decision by the three-judge panel legally prevents Franklin County from following the new moratorium.
That court ruling affects Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.
The circuit court took up the appeal after a district court in Tennessee found in favor of landlords suing the government over the moratorium claiming it exceeds the government’s statutory grant of power, that it violates the Constitution, and that its promulgation violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
Judge Amul Thapar concurred with the other two judges noting that some critics claim Congress does not move fast enough in a crisis but argued that federal government bureaucrats shouldn't take its responsibilities.
"It is not our job as judges to make legislative rules that favor one side or another. But nor should it be the job of bureaucrats embedded in the executive branch, Judge Thapar wrote. "While landlords and tenants likely disagree on much, there is one thing both deserve: for their problems to be resolved by their elected representatives."
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a 5-4 decision to keep the eviction ban in place as it was set to end soon.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh said in his June opinion that he agreed with the lower court judge that struck down the ban but wanted to keep it in place "because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds."
If you are finding yourself in trouble catching up on rent, there is help available. The Ohio Association of Community Action Agency can point you in the right direction for your county.