State Attorney General Keith Ellison has filed a motion against a landlord in Pine County who attempted to evict tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Official documents from Ellison’s office allege that the landlord asked his tenants to vacate his property. After the tenants failed to do so, the landlord entered the home and removed fuses from a breaker box, according to Ellison’s request for a temporary restraining order and injunction that would prevent the eviction. Ellison’s request also claims that “the tenants’ four-year-old daughter has medical needs that make her especially vulnerable to COVID-19.”
The AG has petitioned for this temporary stay of eviction to uphold Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s executive order 20-14 which bans landlords from evicting tenants. This order says it is to stay in place “for the duration of the [COVID-19] peacetime emergency.”
Multiple times Governor Walz has extended orders he’s made in the name of slowing the spread of coronavirus. It is unclear exactly when his ban on evictions will end. Until then, Ellison has a stern message for landlords. “If you take illegal actions to force your tenants to vacate their property during this emergency, my office will take swift and strong action against you,” he says, according to KIMT.
He also urged anybody who believes they have been wrongfully evicted to contact his office “immediately.” The AG’s website has even created a special page tenants can use to request that Ellison’s office contact their landlord to prevent evictions.
Ellison has also taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis to advocate universal healthcare via his Twitter account. The AG has retweeted statements in support of free healthcare from progressive congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and other left wing pundits in recent days.