Dewey Beach

Dewey Beach on April 13, 2020

A lawsuit challenging the governor's ban on short-term rentals as part of coronavirus restrictions will go forward, despite the ban being lifted June 1, 2020.

Patrick Murray of Seaford, who owns a condo in Dewey Beach, filed the federal lawsuit earlier this month, calling the restriction unconstitutional.

The lawsuit noted that for many, rental income from Memorial Day through Labor Day is "necessary" to pay the mortgage for the property for the entire year.

Governor John Carney announced Tuesday, May 26, 2020, that the short-term rental ban along with a required 14-day quarantine for out-of-state residents would be lifted when the state enters Phase 1 of reopening on June 1.

"We were delighted to see that the Governor is lifting the unconstitutional ban on short term rentals effective June 1, 2020," said Murray's attorney and wife, Julieann Murray.

While the court no longer needs to step in on an emergency basis to the stop ban, Murray said they plan to amend the complaint to seek a permanent halt to bans on short-term rentals in future emergency situations.  

"Because all owners of short term rentals, whether commercial lodging or private property owners, need an assurance that such action cannot be taken again," she said in an email.

The federal lawsuit is one of two the state faces over coronavirus restrictions; the second is over restrictions on worship, which have largely been amended since first issued.