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Governor Extends Eviction Moratorium But Superior Court Judges Still Ignore It

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — For the 28th time, Governor Albert Bryan on Friday issued a Supplemental Executive Order pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan’s latest order extends the current eviction moratorium in the territory to December 31, 2021 as a federal ban on evictions expired August 26 after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its authority.

But while evictions have been stayed, the government is lifting limits placed on funeral attendance, but “the requirement to adhere to all orders regarding Houses of Worship, facial coverings, mass gatherings, and business restrictions continues in full force and effect,” according to a statement released Friday by Government House.

Superior Court Marshals, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Virgin Islands Free Press that they have been forced to evict residential tenants because of standing judges’ orders prior to February 28, in direct contravention to Bryan’s and a U.S. Supreme Court moratorium on evictions due to COVID-19.

The supplemental order also “suspends all laws and rules regarding private vehicle inspections until March 15. 2022”

According to USA Today, 42 states have already eased restrictions, Hawaii is in the process of easing restrictions and Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. have tightened restrictions.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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