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Adjournment Question

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Adjournment Question

Postby daisy82 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:51 pm

I have an upcoming new non-payment case for a rs apartment. I would like to know if an adjournment can be requested even if I tender a payment to the landlord's attorney? I will owe April rent after the payment and May will be due. Also if I enter into an arrangement to pay April's rent, can they include the month of May in the stipulation? My court date will be in early May. Thanks in advance for any clarification.
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby TenantNet » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:09 pm

Moving this to the Housing Court Forum.

Please answer all the following:

When you say the case is new, have you received the Petition yet? What stage is the proceeding in? Did you receive a 3-day Notice to Pay (before the Petition)? What Borough are you in? How many months is the LL seeking back rent? Is what he seeks the legal rent? Do you have the back rent in escrow? Do you have an attorney representing you?
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby daisy82 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:24 pm

I received a 3 day notice and I just got the Notice of Petition. The 3 day notice and Petition are not up to date .I am in Brooklyn. They say I owe 3 months including April. I actually owe March and April and was about to send in March today. The lawyers and owner are not communicating clearly because the ledger is not up to date in the demand or the petition although payments have been accepted. I am pro se and I had a court case before in which I promptly paid, but these are new owners ( a hedge fund) buying up a lot of Brooklyn, so you know how that goes.
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby TenantNet » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:45 pm

Once you get the Petition you go to court and put in an answer. The court will give you the first date. Very often the case will get adjourned to a second date (although you must show up the first time). Also be careful not to ask for too many adjournments. On the second, the LL can ask for rent to be paid into court.

Once the case starts, they will update the Petition to include current rent. You need to check and make sure the rent they seek is the correct legal regulated rent, and that they are seeking rent for months you actually owe. Otherwise you can put that into your answer as defenses.

I would not pay rent at this point. It probably won't get you anywhere, but understand that's just a gut reaction and not based on any review of the case or your situation. Also, we are not attorneys.

I would fight to make sure the rent they seek is correct. If you have padi any of it, then don't let them invent things. I'm going through that with my landlord now. He claimed 4 months in which I had proof pf payment and proof of mailing.
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby daisy82 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:17 pm

Thanks for the reply. It amazes me that they would not annex the most recent ledger on their petition that reflects all payments that have been accepted. Do I request an adjournment from the court or from the landlord's lawyers?
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:04 pm

It's common that they will wait to amend the petition. Don't read too much into it. They might wait until after you put in your answer with all your defenses and counterclaims. Then they can ask to amend their petition to make it current with any rent due since the date of the 3-day notice.

If so, then you should then put in an amended answer. Ask the court attorney how much time you have to do that. I think it's 20 days, but ask. You can also submit an amended answer later with permission of the court.

On your answer make sure you indicate that some of the rent they claim has been paid. If you have the court clerk write up the answer - which is how things are usually done - make ure what they write is correct. I can't tell you how many times I've seen them scribble things which are not what I asked them to put down.

On getting an adjournment, be careful, if you can get it with the LL asking for it, so it won't count against you. The stip shoulds say something like "the proceeding is adjourned on consent to [date] at [time, usually 9:30 AM] by both parties for all purposes" or just "on consent."

The adjuornment might contain other things, like details on any repairs that need to be made and access dates. It can say something like "petitioner acknowledges receipt of $XXX for the month on [month, year].

If you have any questions, ask the court attorney to explain to you what it all means and what your obligations will be.

Usually the LL's lawyer and tenant will talk in the hallway. DO NOT let then intimidate you. They often say things that are just plain false. IF you disagree with any assertions they make, you can simply say the court attorney can explain it. (but remember not all judges or court attorneys are looking out for the tenants either). If both sides agree on an adjournment, the LL lawyer usually writes up the stip, but you can veto or change anything. Then it's given to the court attorney. Sometimes the judge will want to approve it, but somethimes not.

It can seem very frightening if you've never been through this. But the more times you do this, then easier it is.
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby daisy82 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:27 pm

That makes sense. I really just want an adjournment so that I can pay the April and May rent at once, so they don't play any games and keep bringing me back to court.
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:18 pm

I can't say about BK, but in Manhattan I've never seen a case that has not been adjourned the first time. But just be ready with your defenses.
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Re: Adjournment Question

Postby daisy82 » Sat May 02, 2015 7:58 am

I will have March on my upcoming appearance and I need about 30 days to come up with April and May. I want to make a stipulation for this, but I'm concerned that they will insist on me agreeing to a judgement on consent which I don't want to do. How can I negotiate this? Does it help that I have repairs that really need to be made that the previous landlord did not address? I would rather adjourn the case than agree to a judgement on consent to get them the money, even thought I don't wanna keep going back to court. It just seems that that's what they are offering to other tenants in their newly acquired buildings. I don't trust it, they ultimately want these building empty.
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