Landlords Can't Challenge NY State Eviction Moratorium in Federal Court

LVT Number: #30892

A group of Westchester County landlords sued Governor Cuomo, seeking in federal court to block Cuomo's temporary eviction moratorium issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, they objected to the temporary prohibition keeping landlords from pursuing eviction proceedings and the provision giving tenants the option to apply their security deposit toward rent payment.

The court ruled against landlords, finding that the federal courts don't have jurisdiction to determine whether Cuomo violated New York state law by enacting his May 7, 2020, executive order pausing evictions through Aug. 19, 2020. Morever, the court found that the executive order didn't constitute a physical or regulatory taking by the goverment that would give rise to claims under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The court ruled that landlords failed to show that the NY State government had seized control of their properties, and that the order was limited in scope. The court noted that the executive order didn't provide for any rent forgiveness. And the executive order extended the governor's original eviction moratorium an additional two months for renters who qualified for unemployment benefits or were unable to pay rent due to the economic hardships resulting from the pandemic.