Tennessee’s court system will not follow new eviction pause

A previous federal appeals court ruling said the CDC lacks the authority to impose eviction pauses, according to the court system.
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee’s court system does not plan to follow the Biden Administration’s new COVID-19 eviction moratorium, a report from the Associated Press said. The court system reasons that a federal appeals court ruling has already decided that the Centers for Disease Control does not have the authority to pause evictions.

Attorneys helping tenants said this new legal interpretation limits options for those facing eviction. The attorneys said they want to negotiate with landlords, in some cases to convince them to accept federal pandemic housing aid applied for by tenants. They said the goal is to avoid an eviction that could hamper tenants’ ability to find new housing later on.

“It’s a lot of tenants who are being surprised,” said managing attorney with Legal Aid in the Nashville region Zac Oswald. “They hear national news that the eviction moratorium is in place, or is in back in place, and they don’t realize that it doesn’t apply in Tennessee.”

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that the CDC lacks the authority to pause evictions. The appeals court oversees Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The eviction moratorium states it does not apply “to the extent its application is prohibited by federal court order.”

3.6 million Americans could face eviction after the original eviction pause lapsed over the weekend. The Biden Administration said the new order is aimed at buying some time for those Americans, the AP reports.

West Tennessee has been without an eviction pause for months, according to Oswald. A district court ruling came down against the moratorium in March, which has led to evictions and asserted nonrenewal of leases, the report said.

Closer to home, thousands are waiting to get money from Knox County’s housing assistance program.

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