A Plaintiff in Hennepin County Court File No. 27-CV-21-3174 has filed an eviction against a former homeowner (“Defendant”) whose right to possession was terminated by a mortgage foreclosure. The Plaintiff claims the Eviction Moratorium Phaseout (“EMP”) statute that temporarily stays most evictions in Minnesota does not apply to the Defendant because he is not a tenant. The Defendant had been the subject of a mortgage foreclosure in which the redemption period expired during Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-79 Eviction Moratorium. The Executive Order 20-79 stayed any attempt to evict Defendant until the enactment of the EMP. Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the eviction action claiming that Defendant is protected under the EMP. Defendant points out that the EMP clearly states that evictions under Minn.Stat. §504B.285 are stayed 105 days after enactment. However, Plaintiff makes several novel arguments that the EMP is inconsistent and that it only applies to tenants. These arguments will likely fail because the statute specifically stays evictions under Minn.Stat.§504B.285.
Plaintiff makes the equally novel argument that the Defendant falls under the exception of the EMP statute which allows evictions where the party in possession illegally possesses a firearm in violation of Minn.Stat.§504B.171. Defendant argues that Minn.Stat.§504b.171 is a covenant between Landlords and Tenants as stated in the title of the statute. Because the Defendant is not a “tenant” as defined under Minn.Stat.§504B, neither Minn.Stat.§504B.171 or, consequently, the EMP exception applies to Defendant. Again, Plaintiff’s arguments are likely to fail.
We will keep an eye on this case and update with the referee’s decision.
 Minn.Stat.§504B.285 states that a Plaintiff may recover possession by eviction when any person holds over real property: (i) after a sale of the property on an execution or judgment; (ii) after the expiration of the time for redemption on foreclosure of a mortgage, or after termination of contract to convey the property; or (iii) after the expiration of the time for redemption on a real estate tax judgment sale;
Defendant was convicted as a felon in possession of a firearm from an incident in May of 2019…prior to the foreclosure sale.