Ellison takes action against Minnesota landlord in midst of COVID-19 pandemic

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (pictured) says a Pine County District Court has issued a temporary restraining order blocking action taken by a landlord against some tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ellison filed a complaint and motion for the temporary restraining order on Friday against Howard Mostad who had disconnected utility services for a Sandstone family who was sheltering in place with a four-year-old child who has an underlying health condition.

“To protect ourselves and all Minnesotans from this virus, we need everyone to shelter in place and stay home. It’s hard enough to afford your life during the emergency, but to have a landlord try to force out a family illegally doesn’t hurt only them, it hurts every Minnesotan,” Ellison said.

Mostad was ordered this week to restore the family’s utility service and has been barred from taking further actions that interfere with their ability to live at the property.

An affidavit said the tenants had no electricity, heat or running water.