BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts landlords have filed a legal challenge to the state’s moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

An attorney for property owners tells the Boston Herald that the pause on evictions that was extended by Gov. Charlie Baker this week though mid-October, is unconstitutional. Attorney Richard Vetstein says the federal lawsuit violates landlords' right to petition the judiciary; the right of free speech; the right to just compensation for an unlawful taking of their property; and is an unconstitutional impairment of their leases.

The defendants are the state and the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.