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Housing Court questions: NYC

Posted by Rosa on August 09, 2001 at 00:02:07:

Long story, then I withheld part of the rent. Landlord refused to cash that check and next check.

Landlord sued non-payment eviction. I didn't want to get sued, I just wanted repairs, etc.

The clerk checked off: "There are conditions in the apartment which need to be repaired and/or services which the Petitioner has not provided." "The Respondent tried to pay the rent, but the Petitioner refused to accept it." "General denial" on the answer form. And some others (I don't want to get too specific).

First time in court in my life.

A really nasty landlord-lawyer abused me in the halls: said my family would be out on the street soon.

In court, Judge said: have you two tried to settle any of this?
I said I thought we could settle some right now.
Judge said: will you conference with the mediator or my attorney? (judges have attorneys?)
Lawyer said: not interested, send us to trial.
Judge didn't even let me answer; didn't even give me a chance to ask for an inspection.
Judge said: if you can't settle EVERYTHING here, yadayada.

Judge gave the me 'this is resolution part, next is trial' speech and a really useless yellow book. (I've got the blue book, like the one here) Then said: over 90% of cases are settled here. Then announced: come back on xx date, you're going to Part X for trial.

I went to the pro-se office: woman just shrugged her shoulders.

Resolution part is like pre-trial part in regular lawsuits. You're supposed to clear up as much of the easy or little stuff as possible and leave only a few things for the trial. That's what people said and what I read here. Pro-se said judge usually orders inspection, orders repairs, and more.

I called HPD to get my own inspection but I don't know if they'll get here before next court date. There are already some violations, I have the stamped printouts.

Questions: I really don't want to go to trial: can I say or do anything to convince the judge and the lawyer to settle some or all things pre-trial?

Or to convince them to take part of the rent and reduce the amount they're suing for?

I'm afraid of the lawyers-fees: can I pay the rent into court now, would that help stop the lawyers-fees?

Isn't it the resolution judge's job to try to settle things? even he he knows this nasty lawyer prefers trial, shouldn't he force him to settle?

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