Roseville, CA asked in Constitutional Law and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: CA Governors powers under the Covid 19 emergency

The State of CA under the Covid 19 emergency has told tenants, broadly, that they do not have to pay rent to their landlords for up to 90 days. This, in spite of the fact that a legal contract exists between tenant and landlord. Can this be considered a "seizure" without due process under the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution? How does the State get to tear up a valid contract between two consenting parties?

1 Lawyer Answer
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Woodland Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is not a seizure because the government isn't taking anything. A pandemic singularly triggers emergency government powers to become effective that would otherwise lay dormant. Further the state is not tearing up a contract. The tenant is breaching the contract by not paying rent, and you are entitled to receive that rent. In order to avoid panic, civil chaos and overburdening the court system, the emergency orders have been invoked to maintain the status quo for up to 90 days. It is quite possible that hold will be extended. If you have tenants I suggest that you maintain a good relationship with them so that at some point you can recoup what is owed to you.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.