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

Just Posted

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 130,000 without power as damage mounts

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Pregnant women are in the high-risk category currently prioritized for booster shots in San Francisco. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Inoculations for immunosuppressed individuals are recommended in the second trimester

Most Read