Des Moines attorney: CDC’s proposed order won’t halt all evictions

September 4, 2020

A proposed order issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that would temporarily prohibit landlords from evicting tenants unable to pay rent likely won’t halt all evictions, nor will it immediately stop eviction hearings currently underway in courtrooms across Iowa and the nation, a Des Moines lawyer with expertise in landlord-tenant issues said.

The CDC issued the proposed order on Tuesday. However, the order hasn’t yet been published, which means eviction cases being heard this week in Iowa’s small claims courts are moving forward. And while the CDC order is expected to be published on Friday, tenants must provide signed documentation to their landlords, in the form of a declaration, before receiving protection under the order.

“As interpreted by most practitioners, the tenant has the burden to provide the landlord with a declaration,” said Jodie McDougal, an attorney with the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines who also is chairperson of the firm’s landlord-tenant department.

However, many questions exist about the proposed order, McDougal said.

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