TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



What Do I Need To Do To Get Discovery In Housing Ct?

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

Moderator: TenantNet

What Do I Need To Do To Get Discovery In Housing Ct?

Postby raym1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:30 pm

I'm the tenant in a housing court proceeding. Due to the particulars of the matter, and remarks made to me by the Landlord and his counsel, I've determined that they are going to attempt to invent a scenario of events during trial.

Because of that I want to pin them down in advance regarding whatever claims they intend to make related to repair efforts, letters they may claim to have sent, telephone calls they may claim were made to me, etc.

What are the mechanisms that would allow me to obtain discovery regarding these sort of concerns? What papers need to be filed to make such requests? It will be tough for me to demonstrate they are lying, and I will need to see the particulars of their story in advance if there is to be any chance of doing so.

My thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
raym1
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:20 am

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:38 pm

In a Housing Court summary proceeding, Discovery is not an automatic right for either party. You would need to make a motion to the court requesting discovery, or you could try to get the case bumped to Civil Court where Discovery is allowed.

In either case, you need to file papers, serve them on the opposition and explain why Discovery is needed, or why Civil Court jurisdiction is appropriate where Housing Court is not. Chances are you would need to argue this motion orally in front of a judge.

Have you gotten any legal advice? For this level of complication, I really suggest you speak to a tenant attorney.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9480
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby raym1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:17 pm

Thanks for your quick response!

1. Would you happen to know what that motion is called? Is it just "Motion for Discovery", is that it? If I knew the name of it I'd have a good starting point for research.

2. No, I haven't gotten legal assistance on this. I do have some prior experience in housing court so I'm not totally blind, but as you've pointed out, this does seem to be somewhat complex.

Unfortunately, it's all I can think of doing given that the landlord seems inclined to inventing an elaborate story. If my first look at the specifics of that story comes during trial I will be in deep trouble. If I can get a good look at it in advance I may be able to figure out ways to show he's making things up.

I wish I could afford an attorney to get some help, but I'm not in a financial position to do so. It doesn't make things easy but it's all I can do right now.
raym1
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:20 am

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:08 pm

I only remember seeing one such motion, simply called a "Motion to Dismiss" because it was combined with other issues.

Look at CPLR 31 and 408 and 3120. The paragraph in that motion asked the court for leave to conduct disclosure.

I can't reprint the entire motion here, but even with some experience in housing court, I would still seek expert advice and be prepared for a lot of work. Even if Discovery is granted, i.e., document production or EBT (examination before trial) are two possible tools, then you would need to rent a room, a court reporter, prepare questions and so on. It's not something I would undertake lightly. I have never heard of a tenant do it him/herself.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9480
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City


Return to Housing Court - NYC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests