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Tenant Is Awarded $25,000 Against DHCR Under Equal Access to Justice Act

Posted by Mark Smith on July 18, 2000 at 20:49:33:

From the New York Law Journal, Wednesday, July 19th:

Tenant Is Awarded $25,000 Against DHCR Under Equal Access to Justice Act

In an underlying Article 78 proceeding, the court annulled an order of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal that had rejected rent-stabilized tenant's overcharge complaint. The court had found, among other things, that DHCR's orders were part of an apartment's "rental history," and DHCR improperly refused to consider its own orders as rental events. Also, the rent stated in an annual registration was subject to challenge if an overcharge claim was made within four years of the filing of the registration, regardless of the year for which it was filed. Tenant now moved for an award of attorney's fees from DHCR under the Equal Access to Justice Act, contending that DHCR's position was not substantially justified. The court awarded $25,000, concluding that, in the main, DHCR had not shown "that its defenses could satisfy a reasonable person."

Matter of Crabtree v. New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, New York County, Supreme Court, IA Part 52, Justice Lippman

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