37-20 104th St. v. Sanchez, 2020-863 Q C

CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
Citation2022 NY Slip Op 22259
Docket Number2020-863 Q C
Parties37-20 104th Street, Respondent, v. Augustin Lopez Sanchez, Appellant, et al., Undertenants.
Decision Date22 July 2022

2022 NY Slip Op 22259

37-20 104th Street, Respondent,

Augustin Lopez Sanchez, Appellant, et al., Undertenants.

No. 2020-863 Q C

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

July 22, 2022

The Legal Aid Society (Katie Redmon and Julia McNally of counsel), for appellant.

Golino Law Group (Santo Golino of counsel), for respondent.


Appeal from a decision of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County (Maria Ressos, J.), entered July 6, 2020, deemed from a final judgment of that court entered July 8, 2020 (see CPLR 5512 [a]). The final judgment, upon the decision, after a nonjury trial, awarded landlord possession and the sum of $33,800 in a nonpayment summary proceeding.

ORDERED that the final judgment is affirmed, without costs.

In this nonpayment proceeding, the petition initially alleged, among other things, that the premises was subject to rent stabilization. Insofar as is relevant to this appeal, landlord subsequently moved to amend the petition to reflect that the premises was not subject to rent stabilization, alleging that the statement in the petition that the apartment was subject to rent stabilization was "merely a scriveners and/or editing error" and that the property was exempt from rent stabilization based on a substantial rehabilitation of the building. The proposed amended petition attached to the motion states, insofar as is relevant here, "The apartment is not subject to the NYC Emergency Rent Law or the Rent Stabilization Law of 1969, as amended, as it was constructed after January 1, 1974 and the building premises does not receive nor does it participate in a tax abatement program." Landlord's motion to amend the petition was granted. The parties later entered into a stipulation regarding tenant's request for discovery as to landlord's claim that the apartment was exempt from rent stabilization based on the alleged substantial rehabilitation. After a nonjury trial, by decision entered July 6, 2020, the Civil Court awarded landlord a final judgment of possession and the sum of $33,800 in rent arrears, finding that the subject building was not subject to rent stabilization as it had been converted from commercial use to residential. Pursuant to the decision, a final judgment was entered on July 8, 2020.

In reviewing a determination made after a nonjury trial, the power of this court is as broad as that of the trial court, and this court may render the judgment it finds warranted by the facts, bearing in mind that the determination of a trier of fact as to issues of credibility is given substantial deference, as a trial court's opportunity to observe and evaluate the testimony and demeanor of the witnesses affords it a better perspective from which to assess their credibility (see Northern Westchester Professional Park Assoc. v Town of Bedford, 60 N.Y.2d 492, 499 [1983]; Hamilton v Blackwood, 85 A.D.3d 1116 [2011]; Zeltser v...

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