Chrysafis, et al., v. Marks, No. 21A8. Order granting injunctive relief pending disposition in Second Circuit or of Petition for Certiorari entered August 12, 2021.
New York’s pandemic related tenant protections preclude eviction if a tenant self-certifies to financial hardship. Landlords may not challenge such self-certifications. This, the U.S. Supreme Court has concluded, impairs landlords’ due process interests, as established law has observed that “no man may be a judge in his own case.” Order of August 12, 2021, citing In re Murchison, 349 U. S. 133, 136 (1952).
By order entered August 12, 2021, the Court has enjoined the preclusive effect of tenant self-certifications pending further judicial activity but has left undisturbed the capacity of courts to make assessments of financial hardship in eviction proceedings. Such assessments could permit receipt of pandemic-related financial aid and could preclude eviction.
Justice Breyer, with Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, has dissented, opining that there is no basis in the law for the U.S. Supreme Court to reach the constitutionality of a state law measure which has not been enjoined by a state court, where there has been no determination in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where the emergency eviction measures will lapse of their own accord at the end of August, where there is available $2 billion dollars in federal rental assistance, and where landlords are not denied, but only delayed, a hearing, a circumstance which does not violate constitutional due process principles.
Justice Breyer’s dissent notes that there is no First Amendment compelled speech issue presented by the state’s requirement that factual information be provided to tenants.
While it is recognized that emergency measures are not wholly insulated from judicial review, it is Justice Breyer’s sense that in this circumstance, where any right to relief is not clearly established, where tenants may face displacement earlier than anticipated, and where the state must craft and administer many scientifically and medically complex emergency measures, the public interest would favor deference to the state.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision has been presented to the federal court in the District of Columbia for consideration in connection with the court’s anticipated ruling on a challenge to the new federal eviction moratorium.
U.S. Supreme Court docket showing entry of order:
Order entered August 12, 2021
Submission to U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia: