DG410244RT, EG410321RT

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.  DG410244RT
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO. ZDH410134R
          EMILIA GARCIA                                         ZDH410361R
                                                 OWNER:  WEST BANK REALTY     

                                PETITIONER    : 

               On July 14, 1989 , the above-named petitioner-tenant timely 
          refiled a Petition for Administrative Review and on July 24, 1990 
          the petitioner filed a Petition for Administrative Review against  
          orders issued on June 8, 1989 and on July 3, 1990 by the Rent 
          Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, 
          concerning the housing accommodation known as 82 West 105 Street, 
          New York, NY, apartment 3N, wherein the Administrator terminated the 
          proceedings.  These appeals have been consolidated herein for 
          determination as they involve common facts and issues.  

               The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's orders 
          were warranted.

               The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record 
          and has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to 
          the issue raised by the administrative appeal.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced by  multiple filings  
           of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.

               In response to the tenant's complaints, the owner stated in 
          substance that  the tenant and the owner had executed a stipulation 
          of settlement wherein the owner and the tenant agreed to the legal 
          rent and the tenant agreed not to institute overcharge proceedings 
          with the DHCR.  The owner submitted a copy of the stipulation signed 
          by the parties and counsel for the parties and "so-ordered" by the 
          court.  Since the stipulation met the requirements  of Section 
          2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code, the overcharge complaints 
          should be dismissed.  
               In these petitions, the tenant contends in substance that
          she had resided in the subject apartment for a long time as a 
          roommate to the tenant of record.  Upon his demise, the owner had 
          brought hold-over proceedings seeking to evict her.  She had signed 
          the agreement here at issue under duress, in the belief that failure 

          DG410244RT, EG410321RT

          to agree would result in her eviction.  The tenant contends that 
          said agreement should be set aside because she was not represented 
          by counsel when she signed the agreement, that she has employed an 
          attorney in other instances but was not represented by the attorney 
          who signed the agreement.  The tenant submits documents which show 
          the name of the attorney employed by the tenant on other occasions.

               In response to the appeals, the owner reiterates the defense 
          raised in the proceeding before the Administrator. The owner states 
          that the tenant is fabricating with respect to representation.  The 
          owner submits the attorney's business card as proof of the 

               After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion 
          that these petitions should be denied.  

               Code Section 2520.13 provides in pertinent part that based upon 
          a negotiated settlement between the parties and with the approval of 
          the DHCR, or a court of competent jurisdiction where a tenant is 
          represented by counsel, a tenant may withdraw any complaint pending 
          before the DHCR.

               After careful consideration of the tenant's contentions 
          regarding the settlement, the Commissioner finds that the court 
          approved agreement meets the requirements of Code Section 2520.13 
          and effectively bars the processing of the tenant's overcharge 
          complaint.   The tenant executed the agreement and it appears that 
          the tenant was represented.  Said agreement was approved by the 
          court and the Commissioner will not look behind the court's order.  
          The tenant's correct remedy is to seek to set the stipulation aside 
          in a court of 
          competent jurisdiction .  

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

               ORDERED, that these petitions for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby are, denied, and, that the orders of the Rent 
          Administrator be, and the same hereby are, affirmed.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner


          DG410244RT, EG410321RT


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