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Traverse hearing

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Traverse hearing

Postby Retaliation » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:15 am

I know that moderator advises against going to trial. Any reason for that? The judge told me that the case will probably be dismissed due to a improper service.Does the traverse hearing happen before or during the trial?
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Re: Traverse hearing

Postby TenantNet » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:45 am

Some tenants think that trials will be like Perry Mason or Law and Order, or even like Judge Judy. Remember, that's all fiction. Real trials are much different.

Whether or not it's advisable to go to trial depends on many factors, including the merits of the case, the litigants, any perceived bias of the judge (even though you might not know who the judge will be before being sent to the trial part). It can be very expensive and time consuming, especially if you have an attorney.

If you're looking for payback or "justice" (whatever 'justice' really means), look elsewhere. Get it some other way.

If you don't have a lawyer and the LL does ... and if you lose, then if your lease allows, it you might be on the hook to pay the LL's legal bills. It does happen.

I know of a tenant who recently was so upset over the LL's lie about service of papers, he insisted on going to trial even though the judge advised him it's not the best way to go. Well, he lost and now owes the LL a big pot of money for legal fees, in addition to all the rent the LL was claiming.

The case was brought by the LL on very flimsy grounds. The tenant really didn't have any major warranty of habitability grounds to withhold rent. In fact he didn't withhold rent. He sent the rent in one month. The LL returned it and then filed a suit for the rent. Of course that doesn't make any sense, but many cases don't.

His obvious defense would be "tender and refusal." We told him to go to court and offer to pay the rent. The case would have been over in a few minutes. The judge understood that the LL was harassing the tenant, and given some of his remarks, we think he was inclined to help the tenant to the extent he could. But in going to trial he had to rule for the LL.

Being a jerk, the tenant insisted on making a fuss over lack of proper service. it was a big mistake.

There are times where it is advisable to negotiate and compromise. We're not saying you should give in to the LL's legal harassment, but look seriously as what can be done to make it go away and allow you to move on.

Whatever you do, do not operate on emotion. Operate on the facts.

The traverse should happen before the main trial (a traverse is like a mini trial). Without proper service, the court does not have jurisdiction. So that must happen first. I would see where that goes. If the court lets the proceeding continue, you can still negotiate with the LL if you think it's a wise thing to do.

If things are complicated, I would consider getting a legal consultation.
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Re: Traverse hearing

Postby Retaliation » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:59 pm

Thank you for reply.
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