'It's scary. We have nowhere to go': Family evicted during national eviction moratorium

Terrence and Jamie Holmes were giving their 1-year-old a bath when sheriff's deputies knocked on their door.


A Milwaukee family was evicted from their home last week even though an eviction moratorium is in effect.

Terrence and Jamie Holmes were giving their 1-year-old a bath when Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies knocked on their door.

"The sheriff showed up, show me a piece of paper, never put it in my hands, put it back in his hand and said, 'Y'all got 30 minutes to get out, it's not our problem that you don't have any place to go,'" Terrence said.

"It's scary. We have nowhere to go, so now we're at risk for (coronavirus.) I'm six-and-a-half months pregnant and I have a 1-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter," Jamie said.

Sister station WISN called the Holmes' landlord.

"You know what, I'm telling you, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the sheriff's department, there is no restrictions," the landlord, who is not being named in this story, said. "If there was a restriction, I could not have done it."

Although the state's eviction halt expired, the CDC issued a national evictions halt on Sept. 4 that extends through the end of the year because of the pandemic.

The moratorium bans landlords from evicting tenants for failure to pay rent.

However, there is a catch.

The moratorium is only applicable if the tenants sign a declaration citing the moratorium and issue it to the landlord and judge as reason not to evict them.

It's also only applicable if there are no other serious breaches in the lease.

If a landlord can prove to a judge the tenant breached the lease, such as with drug activity or property damage, the CDC moratorium no longer applies and they can be evicted.

"Judges are very careful about not giving legal advice. This is also a dilemma about not giving legal advice," said Joseph Seifer, attorney at Seifert & Associates. "A judge is also obligated to make sure everyone understands what they're doing."

The Holmes family said they plan on signing and issuing the CDC declaration to try to get back into their home.

Watch the video above to learn more about this story.