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Covid

Litigation Resources

Template for pro se motion to appoint counsel in a pandemic eviction case

Sample brief that advocates may adopt for use by pro se tenants in their jurisdictions, seeking appointment of counsel in a summary eviction case (August 16, 2021)

New Mexico Order on Applicability of CARES Act

Order from a New Mexico state court arbitration finding that a property which accepts Housing Choice Vouchers is a covered property for purposes of applying the CARES Act, even if the tenant occupying the dwelling unit in question is not a voucher holder. Rejected the landlord’s argument to the contrary, based on HUD’s answer to Frequently Asked Question EM 13 (“EM13. If a market rate property has an HCV holder in one unit, does Section 4024 of the CARES Act extend to the entire property or only the voucher holder?” … ” If the market rate property does not have a federally-backed mortgage, then Section 4024 of the CARES Act only applies to the voucher holder.”) as relevant only to HUD’s own enforcement activities. Litigated by Lindsay Cutler and Maria Griego of New Mexico Center on Law & Poverty. (July 13, 2021)

Missouri Petition for Writ of Prohibition and Supporting Brief

Petition seeking extraordinary writ to restrain county sheriff from executing eviction writ against tenant who claims protection under CDC eviction halt order, along with supporting brief. Drafted and filed by Lee Camp of Arch City Defenders, and preliminary writ of prohibition granted on July 6, 2021.

Ohio CDC Brief

Brief responding to landlord’s motion in Columbus, Ohio case for for eviction judgment against covered tenant on grounds that CDC eviction halt order is unconstitutional. Discusses Terkel v. CDC case and other federal opinions regarding constitutionality of CDC order. Drafted by Kaci Philpot, Zach Bowerman, and Jyoshu Tsushima of Legal Aid Society of Columbus with supervision of Melissa Benson. (March 4, 2021)

Amicus Brief (Massachusetts eviction moratorium) 

Submitted July 24, 2020, in Matorin v. Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, a lawsuit pending in Massachusetts that challenges that state’s moratorium on “non-essential” eviction proceedings. Principally authored by NHLP with assistance from Joseph Sherman of MetroWest Legal Services in Framingham, Massachusetts. (July 24, 2020)

Louisiana Order of ReversalApplication, and Amicus Brief

These are litigation materials from Louisiana concerning a trial court’s denial of a request to hear an eviction case remotely due to the tenant’s disability, which rendered her unable to attend an in-person hearing due to a higher risk of serious consequences if infected with Covid-19. After the justice of the peace court declined to order a remote hearing, the tenant (represented by Hannah Adams of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services) filed an application for review in the Louisiana Court of Appeals, which was granted in this order. Bill Quigley and David Finger of Loyola University New Orleans filed an amicus brief in support of the application. (posted July 8, 2020)