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KC Tenants v. Byrn

Did we achieve our litigation objective? Yes. After the Supreme Court ruling in Alabama Realtors v. Department of Heath and Human Services, housing providers were no longer denied constitutionally protected property rights and landlord-tenant courts reopened.

Court Outcome: The judge did not permit NCLA to intervene and ruled that Jackson Country, Missouri’s operation of landlord-tenant courts violated the CDC’s eviction moratorium. This case was eventually mooted when the Supreme Court struck down the eviction moratorium.

Larger Impact: For many months, Missouri housing providers endured huge losses after the CDC’s eviction moratorium left them with few means to recover unpaid rent and maintenance costs. Setting aside the moratorium allowed landlord-tenant courts to reopen.

Summary: NCLA filed a Motion to Intervene and a response in opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in the case of KC Tenants v. David M. Byrn.

KC Tenants, a nonprofit supporting Kansas City area tenants, challenged a Jackson County, MO judicial administrative order, arguing that it violated the CDC’s eviction moratorium for Kansas City to continue operating its landlord-tenant courts.

The CDC order, which claimed the temporary halt in residential evictions was necessary to “prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” denied housing providers the right to access state courts to retake possession of their own property by the only lawful means available to them even if a tenant stopped paying rent before the pandemic.

In response, the 16th Judicial Circuit for Jackson County issued an Administrative Order setting out steps that permitted aggrieved housing providers to bring eviction actions for reasons other than non-payment of rent, to start eviction processes, and to challenge any tenant declarations made pursuant to the CDC’s order as false.

As a proposed intervenor-defendant, NCLA argued that KC Tenants had improperly asked the Court to enter an injunction permitting enforcement of CDC’s unlawful order, thus violating NCLA clients’ constitutional rights. NCLA clients Hella Shriver, James Gorham, and at least 14 members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers in Missouri had been denied the ability to invoke processes laid down by Missouri law for retaking possession of their homes.

NCLA’s representation gave a voice to Missouri housing providers sidelined and suffering significant harm due to unpaid rent and monthly maintenance costs.

KC Tenants, Plaintiff

Mark Chenoweth
President and Chief Legal Officer
Kara Rollins
Litigation Counsel
NCLA FILINGS

Order Denying Motion to Intervene

November 30, 2020 | Read More

Proposed Intervenors’ Suggestions in Reply to Defendants and Plaintiffs Responses in Opposition to Motion to Intervene

November 25, 2020 | Read More

Proposed Intervenors Suggestions in Reply to United States of Americas Response in Opposition to Motion to Intervene

November 12, 2020 | Read More

Proposed Intervenors’ [Proposed] Suggestions in Opposition to Plaintiff KC Tenants’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction

October 27, 2020 | Read More

Suggestions in Support of Proposed Intervenors’ Motion to Intervene as Defendants

October 27, 2020 | Read More

PRESS RELEASES

NCLA Intervenes in Case on Behalf of MO Housing Providers Harmed by CDC Eviction Moratorium

October 28, 2020 | Read More

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