NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – The Tennessee court system does not plan to follow the Biden administration’s new COVID-19 eviction moratorium, according to an Associated Press report. The court system believes that a federal appeals court decision has already ruled that the Centers for Disease Control does not have the power to stay evictions.
Lawyers assisting tenants have said this new legal interpretation limits options for those facing eviction. Lawyers have said they want to negotiate with landlords, in some cases to convince them to accept federal pandemic housing assistance requested by tenants. They said the aim was to prevent an eviction which could hamper the ability of tenants to find new accommodation later.
“It’s a lot of tenants who are surprised,” said Zac Oswald, senior lawyer for Legal Aid in the Nashville area. “They hear national news that the moratorium on evictions is in place, or is in place, and they don’t realize it doesn’t apply in Tennessee.”
The U.S. 6th Court of Appeals ruled in July that the CDC did not have the power to stay deportations. The appeals court oversees Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. The moratorium on evictions indicates that it does not apply “to the extent that its application is prohibited by a federal court order”.
3.6 million Americans could be deported after the initial deportation break ends over the weekend. The Biden administration said the new order was meant to buy time for these Americans, the AP reports.
Western Tennessee has been without a deportation break for months, according to Oswald. A district court ruled against the moratorium in March, which resulted in evictions and affirmed non-renewal of leases, according to the report.
Closer to home, thousands of people are waiting to receive money from the Knox County Housing Assistance Program.
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