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Keith Ellison sues Ramsey County landlords for attempting to evict tenant during state of emergency

The lawsuit is against two landlords of a Roseville property.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing two Ramsey County landlords trying to evict a tenant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ellison announced the lawsuit against Venkata Ram Paleti and Minnesota Realty Group LLC on Wednesday. According to the suit, the landlords are attempting to terminate the lease of a Roseville tenant. The tenant, unable to find alternative housing, would be required to vacate by Thursday.

Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order signed last month suspends evictions and prohibits landlords from terminating leases during the state’s peacetime emergency.

“Forcing someone to vacate their home during the peacetime emergency is illegal in almost all cases. Forcing someone out when the landlord knows their tenant has nowhere else to go during the pandemic is cruel,” Ellison said in a statement.

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The landlords first brought eviction action against the tenant in January, according to the suit. The tenant asked for more time to find alternative housing, but the landlords allegedly refused.

The landlords continued to refuse to suspend the lease termination after being contacted by Ellison’s office last month. Ellison then filed the lawsuit.

This suit is the fourth enforcement action Ellison’s office has taken against landlords violating the executive order since the peacetime emergency began.

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