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Tenant's Guide to NYC Housing Court, revised 2006

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Tenant's Guide to NYC Housing Court, revised 2006

Postby Anna » Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:34 pm

Hot off the presses, the 02/06 version of the booklet by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Housing Court Public Service Projects Committee and the Civil Court of the City of New York:


[ February 15, 2006, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: Anna ]
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Re: Tenant's Guide to NYC Housing Court, revised 2006

Postby ConstanceW » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:33 am

Thank you Anna. Every time I have a problem with LL (which is, sadly, often) I am impressed by how much useful, careful information you share.

It is deeply appreciated.
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Re: Tenant's Guide to NYC Housing Court, revised 2006

Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:11 pm

Thank you Anna. Your care and expert advisements are appreciated.
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Re: Tenant's Guide to NYC Housing Court, revised 2006

Postby NYHawk » Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:02 am

I have a big gripe with that guide -- it says nothing at all about motion practice.

It states that when a tenant gets sued he or she is supposed to file an answer. That is not the only option available to a tenant (or any other litigant in any other lawsuit). The other available option is the statutory right to make a pre-answer motion to dismiss per CPLR 3211 instead of interposing an answer. (Basically, a motion per CPLR 3211 or 3212 is a written request to the court to have a case dismissed, 3211 is available before an answer and 3212 is available after an answer.)

If the pre-answer motion is unsuccessful the tenant then has the opportunity to interpose an answer. So nothing is lost by making a pre-answer motion. However, even an "unsuccessful" pre-answer motion can still accomplish a lot: for example, because of that motion the landlord may have been forced to oppose the motion by revealing some helpful facts or producing some helpful evidence that the tenant may otherwise not have known about or not been able to get otherwise. Also, because of the making of any motion, the case is automatically slowed down.)

A proper pre-answer motion is a very powerful and effective alternative to just interposing an answer. In fact, I routinely do it all the time. I guess I make a pre-answer motion in almost all of the cases I handle.

Not only can such a motion slow a case down considerably (any motion in a non-pay can be made on little or no notice but made returnable weeks down the road, except in a holdover when the return date has to be the same as the return date of the petition). Also, if the case is dismissed for some reason, like some defect in service of the predicate notice or the petition, etc) the case is dead in the water and no answer ever has to be filed.

the guide also fails to discuss another important right of any litigant -- the statutory right to bypass a trial if no issues of fact are in dispute and make a motion for summary judgment per CPLR 3212. Instead the guide only discusses getting ready for trial after an answer is filed. summary judgment is a substitute for trial, allowed when there are no issues of fact and no credibility contests. In other words, all agree on the relevant facts. It's just the application of the law that is at issue -- the ultimate outcome.

Also, a sophisticated litigant knows that paper discovery (the other side giving your documents before trial) is available without court order. Just make a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment and the landlord will likely oppose the motion by producing whatever documentary evidence it has to refute your contentions. Presto! That's how to get stuff from the other side (without really calling it discovery), but the result is the same!!

Ya think the motion practice topic was intentionally left out of the guide because its too much for the average unsophisticated non-lawyer tenant to understand ??

Me thinks I should write a piece on motion practice in Housing Court, when I get some free time. In the meantime I highly recommend Scherer's L&T book for a discussion about motions in Housing Court cases and everything else helpful for tenants.
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is nyhawk still around?

Postby BettyKat » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:38 pm

apologies for reviving an old thread, but i'm a longtime user (have donated money to the site, received lots of valuable wisdom, and recommend it to all my friends)...and just can't find any evidence that "nyhawk" is still around. does anyone know?

i want to hire him (it's a him, right?)...or at least find out if his rates are reasonable. :lol: if anyone has info, holler!!!!
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:38 pm

It's been so long, forgive me as I don't recall your case. As for Hawco, he advertises on the site. Just reload the page and eventually you'll see his ad on the top left of the page. If not, let me know and I can send you his info. He occasionally appears here, but should be more frequent.
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Thanks but...

Postby BettyKat » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:32 pm

...who is he? There are ads for Alan Goldberg or Grimble & Loguidice, etc....not sure of his real name!
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Apologies...chalk it up to old age...

Postby BettyKat » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:09 am

...but I just realized his last name is actually hawco (thought you were just using a nickname for him). :oops:

Got his contact details from the ad here. Thanks!
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