Supervisor Dean Preston introduced legislation banning coronavirus-related evictions that was upheld by a judge this week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Supervisor Dean Preston introduced legislation banning coronavirus-related evictions that was upheld by a judge this week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Judge rejects legal challenge to SF’s COVID-19 eviction ban

A San Francisco judge on Monday denied a legal challenge brought on by property owners looking to block a new San Francisco law prohibiting landlords from evicting or imposing late fees on tenants who can’t pay because of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Tenant Protections ordinance, initially introduced by Supervisor Dean Preston back in early June, has since been signed by Mayor London Breed.

However, last month a complaint was filed by attorney Andrew Zacks, on behalf of a coalition of property owners including the San Francisco Apartment Association, the SF Association of Realtors, the Coalition for Better Housing and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute, seeking to challenge the ordinance. The complaint alleged, at least in part, the ordinance violates constitutional and state law by preventing property owners from using eviction procedures.

Arguments first began at a hearing Friday and on Monday Superior Court Judge Charles Haines’ issued an order denying the legal challenge, effectively ruling the ordinance doesn’t violate state law or the Constitution.

“This is a resounding victory for vulnerable tenants in San Francisco,” Preston said in a statement. “I have said from the start, we will not stand by and watch thousands of San Franciscans become homeless because of a pandemic they cannot control, and I’m proud that our legislation has been upheld and vindicated in court.”

With Newsom’s order expiring Sept. 30, Preston said without his ordinance, thousands of tenants who can’t pay rent because of the pandemic could be served with evictions, “unprecedented in scale and irreparable in its harm.”

Preston called the ordinance “one of the strongest eviction protection laws in the country.”

Zacks, Freedman and Patterson, the law firm representing the property owners, was not immediately available for comment.

Bay Area NewsCoronavirussan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police seized ghost guns and other firearm manufacturing items while executing a warrant in February (Courtesy SFPD)
Ghost guns linked to rise in SF shootings as numbers jump

San Francisco police are seizing an increasingly alarming number of untraceable firearms,… Continue reading

Students walk around campus near the Cesar Chavez Student Center at San Francisco State University. (Steven Ho/Special to S.F. Examiner)
California’s massive UC and Cal State systems plan to require COVID-19 vaccinations this fall

Nina Agrawal, Teresa Watanabe, Colleen Shalby Los Angeles Times The University of… Continue reading

From left, California state Sen. Milton Marks, Sen. Nicholas Petris, Assemblyman John Knox and activists Claire Dedrick, Sylvia McLaughlin and Janet Adams watch Gov. Ronald Reagan sign the bill establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent agency in 1969. (Courtesy Save The Bay)
Sixty years of Saving San Francisco Bay

Pioneering environmental group was started by three ladies on a mission

Former California Assemblyman Rob Bonta, left, shown here in 2015, has been chosen by California Gov. Gavin Newsom as the state’s new attorney general. Bonta was confirmed Thursday. State Sen. Ed Hernandez is at right. (Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Rob Bonta is confirmed as California attorney general

Patrick McGreevy Los Angeles Times The state Legislature confirmed Democratic Assemblyman Rob… Continue reading

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101, including Park Presidio Boulevard, to keep traffic flowing as The City reopens. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Most Read