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Re: Definition of Absurd

Posted by Anna on September 22, 1999 at 20:43:43:

In Reply to: Definition of posted by Mark Smith on September 22, 1999 at 13:52:48:

Mark wrote:

: But I think Anna is making too much of the word "specified" in Real Property Law 235-f(4). RPL 235-f(1) gives the following definitions:
: Thus, tenant is defined in the law as a party to the lease, i.e, named in the lease.

: Anna wrote:

: : The 'law' for roommates when two or more tenants sign the lease is still fuzzy: someone will have to lose a case and take appeals to clarify the language of RPL 235-f (which is what Stavrolakes did). Most people ignore the words "the NUMBER of tenants SPECIFIED in the lease" in 235-f(4), replacing them in their minds with "the number of tenants NAMED in the lease". This is an absurd interpretation: think about this: family with 2 kids moves into 'classic six' (2 beds, living, dining, kitchen, AND 'maid's room' with its own bath). If husband only signs lease: they can fill the maid's room with a maid or nanny/au pair or boarder, but if both husband and wife sign the lease, they can get evicted for having a nanny? Absurd.

my reply:

Absurd is both my personal opinion and a legitimate legal argument against the 'named' and for the 'number' interpretation of section 4. Keep in mind that the Court stressed that 235-f was NOT intended add occupancy restrictions, but rather to prevent landlords from evicting so-called 'non-traditional-families' and friends.

And what does 'absurd' mean in the law? pretty much the same as IRL.

Oran's Dict of Law:

"Reductio ad absurdum

(Latin) "Reduce to the absurd." Disproving an argument by showing that it leads to a ridiculous

From Romea on TN, Docket No. 98-7259:

"Even if this were so, the possibility does not empower us to disregard the
plain language of the FDCPA unless the result is absurd or directly contravenes the purpose of
the statute. See Helvering v. Hammel, 311 U.S. 504, 510-11 (1941) (noting that courts may
depart from a plain-language reading of a statute "where acceptance of that [literal] meaning
would lead to absurd results or would thwart the obvious purpose of the statute"); Salute v.
Stratford Greens Garden Apartments, 136 F.3d 293, 297 (2d Cir. 1998) (citation omitted)."

from AG's Opinion No. 96-F10:
"Literal interpretation of statutes at the expense of the reason of the law and
producing absurd consequences or flagrant injustice has frequently been condemned." Sorrells
v U.S., 287 US 435, 446 (1932). "

from (sorry: lost it: some case on NYLJ 5/97-7/98?)
"Further, while general words in a statute ordinarily should be given their full significance,
their meaning may, in a proper case, be restricted. When law makers use language in an
enactment they do not and cannot foresee all the future applications of such language, and
courts in construing such statutes, are frequently required to limit their application in order to
avoid absurd, unjust or other objectionable results. Words, however general, must yield to the
necessary particular application (see generally McKinney's Statutes 113). A construction of a
statute which tends to sacrifice or prejudice the public interests or welfare is not favored and
should be avoided if possible (see generally, McKinney's Statutes 152). Finally, in construing a
statute, it will be presumed that the Legislature did not intend an unreasonable result to ensue
from the legislation enacted, and such intent will not be imputed to it, and the statute must be
given an interpretation consonant with that construction. In order to avoid an unreasonable
result, and to effect the intention of the legislature, words of a statute may be enlarged or
restrained in their meaning and operation, and language which is general in expression may be
subjected to exceptions through implication. Such rule may be applied where the statute is so
broadly drawn as to include the case before a court, but reason and the statutory purpose show
that it was obviously not intended to include that case (see generally McKinney's Statutes 143;
Williams v. Williams, 23 NY2d 592, 298 NYS2d 473 [1969])."

another definition of absurd: Anna typing long decisions by hand... proof: it would not have lost alignment if I had typed it. some C&P get screwed up, others don't...

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