In late November a housing court in Boston, Massachusetts struck down Boston’s citywide eviction moratorium calling the ban an “overreach of power.” According to WBTS TV (Ch 7), Housing Court Judge Irene Bagdoian sided with a landlord and a constable who challenged the moratorium that the former Acting Mayor Kim Janey imposed in August. The ruling says that the Boston Public Health Commission does not wield legal authority to circumvent state law governing evictions. The Judge said that Massachusetts’ Legislature and not Boston’s health officials must decide whether to implement “temporary exemptions” to the law. Reportedly, the current Mayor is seeking a stay on the ruling.
“This Court perceives great mischief in allowing a municipality or one of its agencies to exceed its power, even for compelling reasons,” Bagdoian wrote. The judge added: “In this Court’s view, such expansion of power by a governmental agency, even for compelling reasons, should be unthinkable in a democratic system of governance.”