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Adjournment or Case With a Twist

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:20 pm

This forum looks like a great place to get a piece of advice.

Short-story and the quick question:

I have already asked for an adjournment on my first case date and I was granted it.
In three days I have another date which I also want to adjourn for the reason there are conditions on my apartment that LL does not provide (heat & hot water).

I read that LL lawyer may request me to pay the whole sum or part of the sum within the 5 days, but is there a way to avoid it, considering, I might owe much less or not owe at all?


More information and Backstory:

My child received a disability (officially) therefore since summer me and my wife had to re-arrange our lives, temporary drop work, and required to spend more time with our son as his condition can be treated at this early age and disability can be less severe.

When this happened I explained to LL this situation and told him I won't be able to pay till Jan-Feb. He wasn't happy but he agreed. Unfortunately a few months later he died and his granddaughter called me asking for a rent payment. She explained that whatever agreements we had she doesn't know about them and they are not valid anymore, and since many tenants left the building she needs rent asap. I explained I'll do what I can, but there was nothing I could do then. I am self-employed and when I work on my projects usually I get about 4x my rent, therefore I planned to pay everything I owe in 2-3 month, including current rent.

In December I received a notice on a different name, but to my apartment, neighbors told me that the name on the paper is of the previous tenant. I live in the building 4 years, so I assumed that new LL did that on purpose thinking I am going to dismiss the paper, but I didn't > I went to court and asked for the case to be dismissed and it was dismissed. The landlord's lawyer was surprised and unhappy to see me. I think they wanted to play me and evict under another person name.

I went to see a free lawyer and he was asking me questions about what services I get in the apartment what I don't. In our apartment heat & hot water is being provided via Boiler installed in the apartment and via A/C (big and old one) that is installed in the wall (all tenants in the building have same equipment provided by the LL).

As I was explained, due to this, in order to have heat or hot water, we need to use electricity, therefore, our bills are over $500 in the winter time and around $300 in the summer. He checked the lease (I checked it a dozen times as well) and there was not a word saying that I have to pay for the electricity related to the delivery of the heat and hot water. I live in the Rent Stabilized Bulding.

The free lawyer suggested calling the Housing Court Hotline as well as DHCR and checking on with them. The HCH suggested that it should be included in the rent and that LL should take that off my rent (or owed amount). The DHCR confirmed that and even asked about how A/C works and Boiler in the apartment, so it looks like they have experience in that and my LL is not the one doing that.

At the moment I do not have the money to pay everything I owe (about $16,000 - 8-month rent). I am back to work, but first I had to cover my outstanding bills such as electricity. Literally, have money on the first-needs and the support from the government that was provided for my child needs. The free lawyer advised me to apply for a one-shot deal, get papers from DHCR, bring documents about my son condition, + document about the surgery that I am going to have in 2 weeks, and come to the court asking for another adjournment.

DHCR will have to come and inspect the apartment to freeze my rent (that's what they told me). I got the case number, but I do not have the Deck number or paper with the date yet. I am going tomorrow to apply for the one-shot deal, (it's not that I really need it, but lawyer suggested I still do that to show the court I am doing things, + who knows maybe I will get it), and I will get a paper from them too.

My question is: what can I really have my date adjourned for the second time? get more time to figure out the heat & hot water bills and get them adjusted to the amount I owe?

From what I read online the lawyer can ask the judge to make me pay if I ask for an adjournment and judge will order me to do so.., and if I go to the stipulation I will have to agree on the conditions without deductions for heat & hot water overcharge?

What can I do to get more time without making payment and without agreeing on anything before my apartment is inspected and the sum is adjusted?
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:39 pm

First, are you rent regulated?

Second, do you have an attorney, or if not, are you in a zip code covered by the Right to Counsel program? See https://www.righttocounselnyc.org/ and https://www.nycourts.gov/COURTS/nyc/hou ... lify.shtml

You can also Google "Right to Counsel." They will be expanding the program to more zip codes over time, but I don't know when the next expansion is. You should ask.

Even if you don't fall under that program, depending on your income you might qualify for legal help from groups like Legal Aid, Legal Services or Mobilization for Justice.

Next, see who actually owns the property. Is it an individual, a corporation or LLC. If the LL died without a will, that could complicate things. See who is the executor. Has the executor gone through probate? You're trying to see if the grand daughter has legal standing to commence a proceeding. If not, you can challenge that.

On the agreement to delay rent, did you document it in any way? Is it referenced in any letters or other documents you made at the time?

Boiler/burners are supposed to be central and serve the entire building, unless the owner has a waiver. See https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/p ... ceCode.pdf - and go to page 29. This might bring a violation, but I don't know if it would stop a court proceeding. But it might be ground for a counterclaim or overcharge if the LL is making you pay for it? (might depend if your rent stab or not).

Does the LL agree that you are RS? Did you get a RS lease when you moved in? Are increases compliant with RS RGB increases? A lot to look into. Get a rent history from DHCR to start. Also get the rent registrations going back to 1984.

You said the case was dismissed. But is there a new case in your name? This isn't clear.

Have you checked with neighbors who have lived in the building for many years? What do they say about the units and the rents? An apartment can be RS (or not), but the building itself is not RS. It's possible that your neighbor is still RS and your apartment is not. That takes some research.

Important: did you put in an answer yet? You might be able to put in an amended answer. Did the LL - in his petition - plead that you are subject to rent stabilization? That could be a jurisdictional defect in the pleadings.

Yes, there is a provision where a LL can ask for the rent to be deposited into court on the second adjournment. But I've never seen it applied (however I'm not an attorney or practitioner in housing court). I believe thought it's up to the judge.

As for one-shot deals, in some cases I think they might be loans, not grants. Check into that. of course if you get one, you can't get another. So I would be careful.

The DHCR "rent freeze" is a temporary freeze for the LL not providing required services. You say you might be in a RS building, but that's technically incorrect. Whether or not your apartment is RS -- well you have to plead that in your answer and the LL has to dispute that.

My understanding is that either DHCR or the court can make that determination. Many attorneys believe that DHCR is evil incarnate and it's better to go with the courts. That might or might not be the case, and could depend on which judge you get for pre-trial and for trial. That's why you should get an experienced tenant attorney if at all possible.

If you go with DHCR you actually have to file a complaint with DHCR and open a case. You didn't say if you had done that or not. And if you have an ongoing case with DHCR, the courts might preclude that from a court proceeding. Also, what is a "deck number?" Never heard of that.

If it were me, I would make a motion to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds (if the LL didn't plead RS status in his petition). But I'm only reacting to what you've told me above. There's a lot I don't know. And there's only so much you can get from a free lawyer if it was one of those 20 minute consultations. OTOH, they may be entirely correct. I assume you showed all your papers to the lawyer.

As for what you can do, I don't know if there is a 100% guaranteed way to get a second adjournment. One thing to consider is to tell the court you are seeking a lawyer. But if you do that, I would make sure you come back with a lawyer.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:25 am

Thanks a lot for such a detailed reply.

'Even if you don't fall under that program, depending on your income you might qualify for legal help from groups like Legal Aid, Legal Services or Mobilization for Justice.'

This is how I found a free lawyer. Honestly, not really happy with my results as they took almost the whole month (I talked to them before the first date, and they are the ones told me I should ask for an adjournment. It took them a month to tell me they couldn't read documents in my email and ask to resend after I did so, the secretary of the lawyer shared with me 'lawyer tips' that he passed to her about my case and told me they won't represent me. I am going to see a paid lawyer today from one of the ads I saw here on the forum for a 30 minutes free consultation.

'Next, see who actually owns the property. Is it an individual, a corporation or LLC. If the LL died without a will, that could complicate things. See who is the executor. Has the executor gone through probate? You're trying to see if the grand daughter has legal standing to commence a proceeding. If not, you can challenge that.'

On the bills that I receive for rent as well as on the court paper, I am being sued by LLC, on the DHCR records, it is the name of the deceased owner. It has no LLC or INC and written just as a name. I assume it's not LLC or at least looks so to me.

'On the agreement to delay rent, did you document it in any way? Is it referenced in any letters or other documents you made at the time?'

I didn't. The previous LL was a very old man, he only called mobile and we had no written a statement, only verbal agreement.

'Boiler/burners are supposed to be central and serve the entire building, unless the owner has a waiver. See https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/p ... ceCode.pdf - and go to page 29. This might bring a violation, but I don't know if it would stop a court proceeding. But it might be ground for a counterclaim or overcharge if the LL is making you pay for it? (might depend if your rent stab or not).'

I do not get separate bills for heat or hot water, I only get bills for Gas and Electricity. The bills vs my previous rent (same are, just a mile away) are literally 10x more. $50-$60 vs $500 per electricity charges per month.

'Does the LL agree that you are RS? Did you get a RS lease when you moved in? Are increases compliant with RS RGB increases? A lot to look into. Get a rent history from DHCR to start. Also get the rent registrations going back to 1984.'

It is rent stabilized according to DHCR, lease, and history records about previous tenants (I requested and received them).

'You said the case was dismissed. But is there a new case in your name? This isn't clear.'
- it was dismissed on the other person name, brought a new case on my name, I responded that I have some conditions in my apartment that should be fixed, and when I had my first date I asked for an adjournment as a free lawyer (secretary) advised. I was assured I am going to get help when applied as I fit by my budget and family situation, but yesterday was told that I won't get it and I should go on Friday myself. Therefore trying to get ready for different kind of situations.

'Yes, there is a provision where a LL can ask for the rent to be deposited into court on the second adjournment. But I've never seen it applied (however I'm not an attorney or practitioner in housing court). I believe thought it's up to the judge.'

I am afraid that I would be told to deposit 5k-10k within 5 days which I won't be able to do, therefore asking for the second adjournment can help me to get the necessary proceedings with the DHCR but put me at risk to lose the case because I won't be able to make a deposit within such a short time as 5 days.

'As for one-shot deals, in some cases I think they might be loans, not grants. Check into that. of course if you get one, you can't get another. So I would be careful.'

If I actually can get help - that would be great, though I am not sure if I get accepted by the program, so as I was advised by the free lawyer (his secretary who passed the details) it would be an additional point to get adjournment granted as I am waiting for the answer and therefore need more time.

'The DHCR "rent freeze" is a temporary freeze for the LL not providing required services. You say you might be in a RS building, but that's technically incorrect. Whether or not your apartment is RS -- well you have to plead that in your answer and the LL has to dispute that.

My understanding is that either DHCR or the court can make that determination. Many attorneys believe that DHCR is evil incarnate and it's better to go with the courts. That might or might not be the case, and could depend on which judge you get for pre-trial and for trial. That's why you should get an experienced tenant attorney if at all possible.'


I am dealing with DHCR as after calling Legal Aid, Legal Services, Housing Court Hotline, 311, they were only one able to tell me how the heat and water should be provided. I was bounced from one phone to another, but DHCR based on my explanation told me that if the boiler is in the apartment is used to heat the water and using my electricity then LL has to reduce rent for the electricity price, same with the A/C.

I did file RA-81 complaint (as they guided me over the phone) and got my complaint number. Next step as I was told is to receive a mail or email as I filed online about the date when they are going to come and inspect the apartment. If LL is doing that illegally and has to reimburse part of electricity bills I guess he has to do that for all 50 apartments in the building.

I meant 'docket number', not 'deck' my mistake!

'If it were me, I would make a motion to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds (if the LL didn't plead RS status in his petition). But I'm only reacting to what you've told me above. There's a lot I don't know. And there's only so much you can get from a free lawyer if it was one of those 20 minute consultations. OTOH, they may be entirely correct. I assume you showed all your papers to the lawyer.'

The Lawyer of the LL on the last meeting in court wanted me to sign some papers (I was told not to believe they are on my side), so as free lawyer suggested I asked for an adjournment before talking to them, and so I did. I don't know if LL pleaded RS status, and I am not sure what that means/how can I use that.

How would I file such motion? And what should I do if I it is denied?
I am not experienced in the situation and afraid that LL lawyer will try to guide me his way without letting me know my choices or opportunities (he's doing his job, that's fine). The court lawyer most likely sees 100s of people a day, I am not sure he'll be eager to help me as well.

'As for what you can do, I don't know if there is a 100% guaranteed way to get a second adjournment. One thing to consider is to tell the court you are seeking a lawyer. But if you do that, I would make sure you come back with a lawyer.'

That is what I told on my first date, as the free lawyer office adviced me.
I might try saying this again, but I have to be ready what to do in case a) I am getting declined b) I am ordered to pay amount I cannot afford
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:19 am

On the ownership, check with the NYC Dept of Finance - the property deeds at https://a836-acris.nyc.gov/CP/ -- to see the actual owner. The DHCR records are not always dispositive on ownership. Only the owner can sue for possession. If things are murky or in a state of change due to the owner's death, there might be an issue to raise.

On the agreement, even if not on paper, it might still be an issue of credibility.

So it appears that the LL is passing the heating bills on to you directly. Did you say if the heating unit in your apartment is electric? That would likely be a DHCR issue, but you can probably raise it in court as well. I would also check with Con Ed as well.

You probably shouldn't have asked for an adjournment the first time on. I would say about 98% of all cases are adjourned the first time anyway, so no need to ask for it. Or in many cases the LL lawyer will ask for it.

Look at the Petition and Notice of Petition. Does it say you are RS? If not, then they haven't put it in their pleadings and that might be a jurisdictional issue.

Motions can be complex and are beyond the scope of this forum. OTOH, you can simply ask for something (an "application") and the judge might treat it the same way. Formal motions are on paper and give the LL the opportunity to ask for an adjournment in order to respond to your motion on paper. That is one way to force an adjournment. A formal motion has to be served in the opposing party a certain number of days prior to the next appearance, then there has to be an affidavit of service by a non-party, and that has to be filed with the court. That is what lawyers do.

Do not do whatever the LL lawyer wants you to do. Don't sign anything or agree to anything unless you know exactly what it all means. And NEVER EVER agree to anything that has the words "agree to judgment" or anything similar to that. That's a trick used by LL lawyers. You have the right to have the judge review any stipulation presented to you and have the court explain to you what it means and the consequences. Don't give up that right.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:30 pm

On the ownership, check with the NYC Dept of Finance - the property deeds at https://a836-acris.nyc.gov/CP/ -- to see the actual owner. The DHCR records are not always dispositive on ownership. Only the owner can sue for possession. If things are murky or in a state of change due to the owner's death, there might be an issue to raise.


I am not sure who to identify the property owner using this system.
I was able to find records for both the Business name of the LLC that is suing me, as well as some records for the deceased owner. But those are mostly records about the loans they were taking. Maybe I am looking at the wrong place, but I do not see it clearly state that X is the owner of Y.

Can you suggest what should I look for or how to identify records of the owner and address?

You probably shouldn't have asked for an adjournment the first time on. I would say about 98% of all cases are adjourned the first time anyway, so no need to ask for it. Or in many cases the LL lawyer will ask for it.


Was talking to another lawyer yesterday (paid, but gave me 20 minutes free consultation) who suggested the same and told me that I wasn't served correctly. Therefore should've asked for the case to be dismissed.

I asked for the 1st adjournment as was suggested to do so by the free lawyer (who assured me I'll get help and then took 5 weeks to tell me 3 days before the court they couldn't). Anyway, on the first date LLs lawyer was going to sign a stipulation with me, it did not look like they were going to ask for an adjournment, but I told them I want to see a clerk first and I then asked for an adjournment.

Look at the Petition and Notice of Petition. Does it say you are RS? If not, then they haven't put it in their pleadings and that might be a jurisdictional issue.


I don't think they said that, but I'm RS. I was also at the job center yesterday asking for the one-shot deal as was adviced by a free lawyer, (was told even if I don't get it, it's a good reason to get adjourned) and the worked checked address and confirmed I am RS.

Does the paper that says I am being sued for non-payment should also state I am RS? If it doesn't say that what I can do that/how do I use it for my benefit?

Motions can be complex and are beyond the scope of this forum. OTOH, you can simply ask for something (an "application") and the judge might treat it the same way. Formal motions are on paper and give the LL the opportunity to ask for an adjournment in order to respond to your motion on paper. That is one way to force an adjournment. A formal motion has to be served in the opposing party a certain number of days prior to the next appearance, then there has to be an affidavit of service by a non-party, and that has to be filed with the court. That is what lawyers do.


Does that mean I can write my motion on the paper that I am being incorrectly charged for my rent, therefore I want my rent as well as outstanding to be recalculated and show that at court?

Since the court is tomorrow I have no option to serve it days before, so not sure how to do that.

Do not do whatever the LL lawyer wants you to do. Don't sign anything or agree to anything unless you know exactly what it all means. And NEVER EVER agree to anything that has the words "agree to judgment" or anything similar to that. That's a trick used by LL lawyers. You have the right to have the judge review any stipulation presented to you and have the court explain to you what it means and the consequences. Don't give up that right.


Yes, I completely understand what you mean.

The way I look at it: If I do this > they can do that > if they do that > I can do this.

So my ways are:

1) Come and ask for another an adjourment right away. Explain that I am looking for DHCR to inspect apartment on the conditions that LandLord is not providing, including heat & hot water and electricity overcharge (roaches, cracked wood on the floor) > If I'm granted LL can ask for the money to be paid right away > If judge tells me to pay $5k within 5 days > I won't be able to do that > I lose by default and get evicted?

1.a In case I am granted a 2nd adjournment and they don't ask for money to be paid within 5 days > good. I have time to get apartment inspected and negotiate the new price, get my rent frozen etc.

1.b In case I am not granted 2nd adjourment > what do I do then? Will there be a stipulation or trial right away?

In case I don't agree with the stipulation and they put very strict conditions? (pay all amount with month or two is not real, I need around 3-4)

2. In case I don't ask for an adjournment they will want to sign a stipulation > I already know that I should only ask for the nonjudgement stipulation, but I would like to discuss the stipulation considering I am having overcharge related to heat and hot water (I don't agree with the amount requested), while LL lawyer wants to discuss only the stipulation related to the full sum.

2.a If we reach no agreement we see the judge for trial right away? What happens on the trial?
Does the judge order me to follow a specific process? Do I have the right to appeal, or that is a final decision?

2.b If we reach agreement on the full amount, not considering overcharges (which is a bad choice for me), I won't be able to bring that back or use overharge as a credit, unless I open another case against my LL?

My goal is:

1. Get more time without agreeing on any payment plans or stipulations to get apartment inspected and get documents from DHCR
2. Not to pay or agree to pay anything at the moment before I got the whole sum recalculated
3. Not to get myself in trouble by agreeing on anything I won't be able to fulfill.

At the moment I do not have the money to make a payment to my landlord, therefore agreeing on any payment within the next 5-10 days (what I read can happen if you ask for 2nd adjournment) will make me lose by default.

In case I am right about heat & hot water (I was told I am, but I have to get legal documentation from DHCR) its 50 more apartments that are in the same situation, so this can be a pretty big amount for the LL if he has to return even $100 p/m for all the tenants for the past 10 years. I talked to a few neighbors who also would like to know if they are being charged correctly, so my issue of non-payment may have a larger effect on the LL if multiple tenants file for DHCR or as DHCR rep suggested to file a form for the whole building.

I was wondering maybe this is something I can also pull up in court?
Someone told me that they were in the similar situation and LL agreed to drop the case and even drop part of the outstanding balance to keep this quite > is this something to consider to discuss or this is from the movies?
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:23 pm

I can't get to this until tomorrow. In general, posts should be about 1/3 the size of this.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:12 pm

It's not about the length, but about necessary details and questions.
Sorry if it's too long. I hope other tenants will also find it helpful.

To add to my previous post:

I saw another lawyer today and was advised to do a bankruptcy (chapter 13) as this would allow me to pay the amount within 3 to 5 years. Not planning to do on that, at least for now.

I was also told that if you see the judge (trial) when you cannot agree on the stipulation, or in any other case where a judge decides on the amount, whatever amount you been told has to be paid within 5 days.

So I guess my best option is to see what kind of stipulation I would be offered and take it from there. Not sure how can I use the DHCR violation and the papers I got from the one-shot deal to help me get case adjourned and avoid the judge making me pay any sum amount of money.

If you can shed a light on that I'd really appreciate.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:58 am

It is about the length, and I've said this on the forum many times. It's about the time it takes for me to read through, consider and research if necessary questions that are raised. And it's about whether I have the time on any given day to do this in addition to everything else. We don't get paid for this.

Also, I'd say about 60% of the tenants add stuff that's really immaterial. A lot of extra stuff that's not necessary.

As for trial (your word), most likely you're in a resolution part, not a trial part. At a certain point, they might send it off to a trial part (different room, different judge). But to be honest, you should try to get things worked out before that. Do you even know what your defense would be at this point? What are the factual issues to be determined at trial?

As for the judge in the part you're in, yes, perhaps he/she can help the parties on an interim solution.

Bankruptcy seems to be an extreme solution. While it might get you off on the money you owe, you would likely lose the apartment. Is that what you want? And it's on your record for many years.

In the end it would be up to the judge. I don't think 5 days is an absolute. It could be more or less than that. Explain the circumstances and tell the judge when you expect to get the money. If it's within a reasonable time, the judge might go along with that.

As for a stipulation, well that's a negotiation between parties. If the LL offers you something, you can come back with a counter-offer.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:51 am

A few more things...

One of the attys said you weren't served correctly. I hope he gave you details. In any case, that might be a defect that can't be fixed by the LL, meaning the case would need to be dismissed.

In court you can tell the court attorney that you have an "application" for improper service. You'll have to give details. You might have to ask for an inquest, which is like a mini trial where the process server comes in and testifies the manner of service.

You can ask the clerk to look at the case file where you can see and copy the affidavit of service filed by the process server. Scrutinize the affidavit to see what he said happened is actually what happened. Did he give you personal service? (hand it to you). If not, did they tape it to the door (after two attempts), and also mail it to you by both regular and certified mail?

If you haven't yet, you will need to put in an answer at some point. There is a "Pro Se attorney" in an office on the first floor (in Manhattan) where they can offer some guidance. The one-page answer can be put in at the second floor's clerk office. They will guide you through that process. Or you can write up a professional answer and serve it on the LL's lawyer. Your choice. But make sure you check-off bad service and ask for an inquest.

Look at the Petition and Notice of Petition. Does it say you are RS? If not, then they haven't put it in their pleadings and that might be a jurisdictional issue.

I don't think they said that, but I'm RS.


That's not the point, whether you are or aren't.

What matters is if they put it in the Notice of Petition, something like "the premises are subject to rent stabilization laws of 1969... and has been registered with NYS DHCR and the rent sought is the legal rent."

Also it must say something like, "The premises is a multiple dwelling and pursuant to the Housing Maintenance Code Article 41, the is currently and effective registration statement on file..."

If those statements are not in the pleadings, the court should dismiss the case.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:17 pm

In the court room right now.

It appears that they ‘served’ me with the papers that were stamped to my door according to affidavit on 11/01/18. It says they stamped it on my door which never never happened. We have 3 camera on the floor that can also confirm that never happened.

The funny thing is that I received a postcard by mail (that I used to come to court and register for the first date) was sent to me in 01/06/19. I got email printed out with me from my landlord where I asked them if they are suing me and they reply the do not dated 12/13/18.

That is clearly tells that something is not right. How come they can serve me with the papers that I never received in the November but not bring it to court and court not to send em a postcard until January?

The LL lawyer when I asked him told me they just did not want to bring me to the court yet and have me time, which I don’t think is true.

As I understand there should be 6 copies as there my name on the case as well as my wife’s. All we received is a postcard and the registered mail that we did not pick up. According to what he as explained I should also have a regular mail and stamp on the door, which was never received.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:43 pm

It's called "sewer service" where the papers they claim were taped to your door were put in the sewer. It's an old LL trick. I would put "improper service" in your answer and ask for an inquest. Make copies of everything in the court file.

Getting hold of the videotape you mentioned - may require a subpoena. You can also get records of the process server they used (I think from Dept of Cultural Affairs) in that they are supposed to have a GPS on them showing where they are at any time. But these efforts might require the help of a lawyer.

The process server decides not to visit your apartment and files an affidavit claiming he was there. That's bad service.

Look for service requirement on this site and on this forum. In short, service can be:
https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/goin ... onal.shtml

a) personal
b) substituted
c) conspicuous service

The last is often called "nail and mail" where in addition to taping to your door, they have to

a) mail copies by BOTH regular and certified mail
b) also sent to you AND John Doe and Jane Doe.

That should mean six copies in the mail. You can check with your local post office about the certified (not registered) copy if you know the certified number. However, if there is a record, then that might get the LL off the hook. Scrutinize what the USPS says and make copies of the USPS record -- you can get it online, but you might need an official record for trial/inquest purposes. In some cases they say the were told about (advance notice) of a cert letter the process server intends to bring to the post office, but they never do.

The court sends the post card to alert tenants just in case of situations like this.
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:00 pm

Thanks for the answer!

The only thing - i have already put in the answer in January on the first date and I didn’t mention improper service. I told court attorney I need to amend my answer and I did not put it at first ad I did not know how I should be served.

If I got only registered mail, does that mean I was served correctly?

I just saw a court attorney and the LL lawyer said they did serve correctly. Court Attorney told me they will set me for trial. Does that mean in trial they will make me to pay in a 5 days?
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:36 pm

You should be able to put in an amended answer. Ask the Pro Se Attorney's office how to do that. Did the Court Attorney answer you when you asked?

Registered and Certified mail are different things. Don't mix them up. Look up conspicuous service at the link I gave you.

Can't say what the judge will do. Why are you going to trial at all? As far as I know you're trying to get more time, but once some money comes in you're willing to pay. Do you have other issues? Needed repairs? Incorrect rent?
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Re: Adjournment or Case With a Twist

Postby HappyTenant » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:39 pm

Yes, DHCR confirmed I have incorrect heat and hot water , that makes me pay for electricity. I was told they are coming to inspect an apartment and then tell me what abatement I will have.

I have roaches which I showed on the printed picture I brought with me.

I am not sure why the court clerk told me I will go for a trial. Maybe because other party denied improper service?

I would like not to do a trial but to get more time. Waiting to be called to talk to a judge.
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