A local judge has ordered that DeKelb County landlords may not evict tenants as the national moratorium on evictions expires.

“DeKalb Chief Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson recently signed a new emergency order creating a ban on evictions throughout the county for another 60 days,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. “The order was based on the continued COVID-19 public health emergency and the cyberattack that targeted DeKalb’s Tenant-Landlord Assistance Coalition earlier this year, dramatically slowing its distribution of federal aid.”

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectIn her order, Jackson also cites a uniquely “sharp increase” in COVID-19 cases as a reason for extending the moratorium.

“As of July 23, 2021, the state is reporting that in the last two weeks, 496 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in DeKalb County and 11,878 cases were detected in Georgia,” the order says. “This sharp increase in cases in Georgia and across the southern region of the United States, is unlike anywhere else in the nation. The increased number of virus mutations and variants have the potential to compound the already prevalent adverse health impact on the citizens of DeKalb County.”

Jackson also said that since the DeKalb Tenant-Landlord Assistance Coalition (TLAC) program, which distributed federal aid to DeKalb residents during the pandemic, was slowed by a cyberattack, the moratorium expansion was justified.

The eviction moratorium was initially enacted at the federal level during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost millions of Americans their livelihoods. But it expired at the end of July, much to the chagrin of progressive Democrats.

Jackson’s order also says that 145 writs of eviction had already been approved since the end of the national moratorium, and more than 1600 more were pending in the county.

According to the order, after 60 days, the moratorium can be extended again. It may also be terminated at any time with “good cause shown.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to dabroscareports@gmail.com.