The California Apartment Association suffered a legal setback today when a San Diego Superior Court judge denied its request to suspend enforcement of San Diego County’s short-term eviction moratorium.

The request was part of a lawsuit filed May 28 seeking to invalidate a San Diego County ordinance imposing both eviction and rent controls. The association contends that the ordinance is pre-empted by state law and that the county relied on an improper use of emergency powers in crafting the measure.

The ruling by Judge Richard S. Whitney came after the court heard nearly two hours of arguments from the attorneys for CAA and the county on June 3. While the ruling allows the law to stay in effect for now, the court still must consider the broader question of the ordinance’s validity at a later hearing.

“We are disappointed that the judge did not grant the temporary restraining order.” said Whitney Prout, CAA’s policy and compliance counsel. “We’re confident, however, that once we have a full hearing on the merits of our case, the court will find that the Board of Supervisors overstepped its authority in passing a measure that violates state law and the state Constitution.”

San Diego County rental housing providers are required to comply with the ordinance, which prohibits nearly all evictions and places limits on rent increases, unless and until an order is issued by the court to enjoin the law.