Federal judge refuses KC Tenants request to halt evictions in Jackson County

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge rejected a request to halt evictions after the KC Tenants claimed Jackson County was violating a federal moratorium.

The Kansas City Star reported that the ruling on Tuesday, Nov. 24, comes in the federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the tenants rights group. The lawsuit against Jackson County Circuit Judge David Byrn argues that the court is violating a federal eviction moratorium by allowing eviction cases to go forward.

On Sept. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Declaration Form, which allows people making housing payments to avoid getting evicted due to lost income during the pandemic.

The administrative order in question in the lawsuit, signed by Jackson County Presiding Judge David Byrn, allows landlords to continue seeking evictions. They must file a Verification form, stating that they have not been given a CDC Declaration Form.

U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs said in his ruling that the CDC’s moratorium doesn’t stop landlords from filing civil action against tenants.

A representative for the ACLU expressed disappointment in the ruling, but they noted this was only one step in the legal battle and indicated potential for appeal.

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