Federal court pauses CDC eviction moratorium in Tennessee

Posted at 6:41 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-07 12:21:52-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for another eviction moratorium but there's a chance it will have no effect here in Tennessee and some surrounding states due to a ruling in federal court last month.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the CDC did not have the authority to pause evictions. The CDC order itself says that the moratorium doesn't apply to areas where its application is prohibited by federal court order, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.

Nashville Judge Rachel Bell said the dockets for evictions are already full, but there are solutions to benefit landlord and tenant.

Days after the news, Bell said hundreds of eviction hearings are rolling into court.

"Just this past Tuesday, we had court in this courtroom, we had to move out of here and go downstairs to courtroom 1A because the dockets were so full," she said. "We had I think 279 cases on that day."

Bell is the founder and presides over the L.E.A.G.A.C.Y Housing Resource Diversionary Court, a program developed to assist the tenant and landlord with a streamlined way to navigate the current pandemic, particularly those whose income was affected directly by COVID-19.

This now giving renters impacted by COVID-19 limited options.

"It is important that the landlord is compensated. And it is important that the tenant has a roof over their head," said Bell.

Bell says there are solutions if landlords choose to work with the courts in keeping people in their homes.

"I always say, 'what is it God asks of us?' He asked us to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God and that is working with people. If you can't do that, we can't force you to do it," she said.

Bell says right now, it's important everyone walks out of court filling like justice was served.

"Everybody has stepped up now we need the landlords to step up, we need the tenants to continue to work the process, and we're in this together, we are in this together," Bell said.

Bell said if you need help - reach out to the Metro Action Commission.