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I-TEAM: Federal judge weighs in on eviction ban

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 7:58 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A federal judge ruled this afternoon the CDC overstepped it’s authority when it imposed a nationwide eviction ban. There are now calls for the justice department to appeal the decision.

But what does that mean for now? Our I-Team spent the afternoon trying to sort that out.

The simple answer is – it’s still unclear.

The Richmond County Marshals Office says they’ve been carrying out some evictions ever since the local moratorium expired last summer. That was from March to June.

Later once the pause from federal government ran out the CDC stepped in with this letter available to anyone on the CDC website. The CDC declaration could be printed out and used to hault a local eviction if you were behind on payments. It could not stop you from being evicted if your lease was expiring and or if you were violating the terms of your lease.

Now that federal judge ruled today this letter is an overreach of the Public Health Service Act the CDC was trying to use as legal authority. So how has this been used here at home?

The marshals office says they’ve received 545 evictions in the last two months in Augusta. 305 of those tenants were evicted or moved out willingly. The other 240 were deemed non-exectuable. Officers say the majority of those 240 tenants used the CDC letter to pause their eviction.

It’s important to note the letter does say these tenants could still one day owe the back rent. Today’s ruling was seen as a win for property owners, landlords and realtors.

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