Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Successfully Defeats Motion for a Stay, Allowing Client to Move Forward with Eviction in Spite of Disputed Ownership
In a deeply emotional dispute between Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s client and one of her family members, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. prevailed on behalf of its client. In this Housing Court proceeding, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. ‘s client sought to evict a holdover tenant, her adult son, after the son’s disgraceful mistreatment of his mother.
The client, an elderly mother, has been living with her son in her Brooklyn home for just under a decade. Over the years, the client’s relationship with her son began to deteriorate due to her son’s frequent failure to make timely rental payments and general disregard for his mother’s desire for a peaceful, safe, and quiet home during this delicate stage in her life. The client’s son would go to great lengths to terrorize his mother, as he often locked her out of the basement of her home, prevented her from accessing the home’s boiler facilities during the cold winter months, and consistently acted disrespectfully toward her. To make matters worse, the son even commenced a Supreme Court action against Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s client, his half-brother, and a host of other defendants claiming, without any substantive proof, that he is the rightful owner of the home.
After years of built up tension, the client’s relationship with her son became so strained to the point that she began to fear for her safety and well-being. Eventually, the client’s day-to-day life living with her son became so fraught with hostility that the client had no other choice but to seek recourse through a summary eviction proceeding before Kings County Housing Court. Accordingly, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. ‘s client commenced the Housing Court proceeding with the hopes that one day, after being free from her son’s torment, she would be able to live a stress-free and peaceful life.
This Housing Court proceeding, on a parallel track with a Supreme Court action, threatened to grind to a halt when the son sought to stay the Housing Court proceeding. The son strived to convince the Housing Court to stay its own eviction proceeding even after the Supreme Court denied his prior Order to Show Cause requesting the Supreme Court to issue the same stay. After Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.convinced the Supreme Court to let the Housing Court proceeding to go forward, the son went ahead and sought identical relief in Housing Court, claiming the Supreme Court should hear the case. The Housing Court was not amused.
At the heart of the son’s claim in the Housing Court was that even though his name was not on the deed, he should still be considered a kind of owner, what the law calls “constructive title” because of the complex financial arrangements in his family. He went on to say such claims needed to be addressed in the Supreme Court (even though the Supreme Court thought otherwise) before the Civil Court eviction proceeding could effectively move forward.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. ‘s attorneys fought this attempt entirely on papers, showing that the Housing Court is, in fact, the right place for such claims to be heard and—critically to this case—disposed of. After this Motion was fully briefed, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. appeared in Court ready for a highly contested and factually complex argument on the Motion. After the dust settled, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s client came out victorious again. The Court ultimately agreed with ALBPC’s argument that, even in light of the complicated history between the parties, the Housing Court has the jurisdiction to hear all of the tenant’s claims and defenses with respect to his purported constructive title claims and that issuing a stay on this case runs afoul of the well-settled law that such disputes belong in the Housing Court.
Dov Treiman and William M. Pekarsky prepared the Opposition to the son’s Motion and William M. Pekarsky orally argued against the Motion in Court