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$3,000 Damages Award for Tenant Is Proper For 'Frivolous'

Posted by JJ on June 29, 2001 at 22:33:15:

$3,000 Damages Award for
Tenant Is Proper For 'Frivolous'
Nonpayment Proceedings

LANDLORD APPEALED from a $3,000 judgment
of the Kings County Civil Court in tenant's favor on
his counterclaim. The judgment was unanimously
affirmed. The court said that where, as in the instant
case, there was never any rent due and owing, and
the landlord had no explanation for three "frivolous"
nonpayment proceedings, the landlord's conduct
could be construed as retaliatory for the tenant's
actions as president of the tenant's association.
Also, the court said that the award of $3,000 as
damages for three separate nonmeritorious
nonpayment proceedings appeared proper.
Contrary to the lower court's finding, the court noted
that the presumption of retaliation found in Real
Property Law 223-b(5) had no application to the
facts since the wrong was based on the landlord's
violation of 223-b(1)(c). Also, the presumption,
found in 223-b(5), by its terms, did not apply to a
nonpayment proceeding..
601 West 160 Realty Corp. v. Henry, 2d & 11th
Districts, Supreme Court, Appellate Term

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