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Lawsuit Update: Restraining Order Denied

Industry , Legislative Updates , SCRHA Blog ,

On Tuesday, June 1, the judge assigned to our lawsuit, Judge James Lorenz, denied our request for a temporary restraining order to stop the eviction moratorium from being enforced for 18 days—from June 3 to June 21. (On June 21, the judge will decide our request for preliminary injunction motion, which—if granted—would suspend the law for the duration of the litigation).

A temporary restraining order is “extraordinary relief” that is rarely granted, except on a showing of “irreparable harm” (harm that cannot be adequately compensated by money damages). While the law clearly states that “the deprivation of constitutional rights unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury,” Judge Lorenz suggested that the constitutional rights at issue here and explicitly enshrined in the Constitution—“contractual and property rights”—nevertheless are not sufficiently important to rise to the level of irreparable injury when they are violated. Further, while we submitted numerous declarations from actual rental housing owners suffering mental and emotional distress, the judge concluded that such injury could not be linked to the ordinance, because it hasn’t gone into effect yet.

The law will go into effect on Thursday, June 3. If you missed our webinar on the ordinance, please click here to access the recording, details on the ordinance, and more.

If the moratorium causes you emotional and psychological injury (because the moratorium prohibits you from adequately protecting yourself, your employees, your good tenants, and your properties from problematic tenants), and you are willing to submit a sworn declaration to that effect in support of our challenge, please contact Molly Kirkland immediately at mkirkland@socalrha.org or 858-751-2200. You may also click here to provide this information via our online survey.

Today’s decision does not signify defeat; however, housing providers will have to operate under the ordinance’s severe restrictions for at least 18 days until the injunction hearing. Stay tuned!