HE510028RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ------------------------------------X
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                                DOCKET NO. HE510028RO
                                              :    DRO DOCKET NO.GG510424R
                R.P.N. Management Co., Inc.        TENANT:Lourdes Martinez

                               PETITIONER     :
          ------------------------------------X

             ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On May 19, 1993, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
          for Administrative Review against an order issued  on  April  15,
          1993,  by  the  Rent   Administrator   concerning   the   housing
          accommodations known as 81 Cabrini Boulevard, New York, New York, 
          Apartment No. 51, wherein the Rent Administrator  terminated  the
          proceeding, based on the withdrawal by the tenant on April 8, 1993, 
          of her complaint of rent overcharge.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent  Administrator's  order  was
          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 commenced by the filing of a rent  overcharge
          complaint by the tenant in July, 1992.  The owner was served with 
          a copy of the tenant's complaint and submitted a response thereto. 

          By letter dated March 4, 1993, the tenant requested withdrawal of 
          her complaint.  The owner, in a  letter  dated  March  25,  1993,
          opposed the tenant's withdrawal request.  

          Following confirmation of the  tenant's  instructions,  the  DHCR
          granted the tenant's request, and terminated the proceeding based 
          on the tenant's withdrawal on April 15, 1993.

          In this petition for administrative review,  the  owner  asserts,
          among other things, that the order terminating the proceeding was 
          inappropriate following "joinder", that under Section 3217 of the 
          Civil Practice Law and Rules, (CPLR) once an answer to a complaint 
          has been interposed, a discontinuance may only be obtained  by  a
          stipulation between the parties, or by leave of court; and that the 














          HE510028RO


          Administrator's order was prejudicial, since, among other things, 
          it denied the owner the benefit of a  DHCR  determination  which,
          being a fair market rent appeal, would not carry a potential treble 
          damages penalty.  The owner contends that the  tenant  is  merely
          forum-shopping in wishing to pursue  her  counter-claim  of  rent
          overcharges in a non-payment proceeding  instituted  against  the
          tenant by the owner, and states that the DHCR is the proper forum 
          to adjudicate this proceeding.

          The tenant, in response to the owner's PAR, submitted a photocopy 
          of one of the documents she submitted in the Court proceeding, in 
          which she  asserts,  among  other  things,  that  the  Court  has
          concurrent jurisdiction with the DHCR.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition  for
          administrative review should be denied, and that the order of the 
          Administrator should be affirmed.

          Regarding the CPLR Section cited by the owner,  the  Commissioner
          notes that, whereas the CPLR governs court proceedings, the State 
          Administrative  Procedure  Act  (SAPA)   governs   administrative
          proceedings such as the instant case.  Section 117 of SAPA states, 
          in pertinent part, that whether by provision  of  statute  or  by
          judicial decision, it is a general rule that, even in the exercise 
          of judicial or quasi-judicial powers, administrative agencies are 
          not bound by the technical or formal  rules  of  procedure  which
          govern trials before a Court.

          DHCR policy generally allows tenants to withdraw pending complaints 
          prior to issuance of an order by the Administrator.  An Owner may 
          not compel the DHCR to render a determination on the merits of  a
          complaint filed by a tenant which the tenant wishes to withdraw.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that  the  Administrator  was
          correct in terminating  the  proceeding  based  on  the  tenant's
          withdrawal of her complaint.

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

          ORDERED  that this petition for administrative review be, and the 
          same hereby is, denied.


          ISSUED: 

                                                  JOSEPH    A.     D'AGOSTA
                                                  DEPUTY       COMMISSIONER
           
                                                            
                                                     






          HE510028RO

                                                     
               






    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name