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Aaron Martin: Amicus Curiae for PA Realtors

by | Apr 7, 2020 | Latest News, Martin, Aaron D

April 6, 2020

Real Estate Agent Working

Attorney Aaron Martin of Mette, Evans & Woodside has filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® (“PAR”). The brief was filed as part of a broader case challenging several aspects of Governor Wolf’s orders shutting down businesses across Pennsylvania in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wolf Administration’s orders have prohibited real estate brokers and agents from maintaining offices and conducting any activities related to real estate since the orders became effective on March 23, 2020. PAR has proposed that rather than maintaining a complete prohibition on real estate activities, reasonable guidelines can be developed that will protect public health and safety while allowing the vital services provided by PAR’s membership to resume.

The brief argues that the Wolf Administration’s orders deviate from guidance from the United States Department of Homeland Security that classify real estate activities as part of society’s “critical infrastructure.” It is argued that Pennsylvania state government should recognize the provision of “real estate services” as a life-sustaining service vital to millions of Pennsylvanians.

The brief additionally argues that the Wolf Administration has not provided a sufficient process for PAR’s membership to seek waivers from the shutdown orders to resume providing these vital services. The administration’s sudden termination of the limited waiver process on April 3, 2020, and argument against any right judicial review from the shutdown orders, are also challenged as violating the Pennsylvania Constitution.