This Special Alert for Powell on Real Property looks at governmental measures, enacted on an emergency basis, regarding real property during the COVID-19 pandemic — especially moratoria on residential evictions and foreclosures. The Alert uses examples of COVID-19 emergency measures by state governments as well as examples of emergency measures by the federal government. It anticipates ongoing changes to such measures as the COVID-19 situation evolves, suggesting that we not wait until the governmental measures abate before considering their impact and implications. The current stream of property-related COVID-19 litigation promises to become a flood. Litigators are relying on provisions of federal and state constitutions to challenge the emergency measures on behalf of landlords, lenders, and business owners. The Alert identifies several key U.S. Supreme Court precedents that will almost certainly form part of the judicial response to those challenges. Those cases, discussed in the Alert, provide the foundation for judicial consideration of the constitutional legitimacy of eviction and foreclosure moratoria.
Wolf, Michael Allan, COVID-19 Pandemic and Real Property Law: An Early Assessment of Relief Measures for Tenants and Residential Mortgagors (June 9, 2020). Powell on Real Property, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3623281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3623281