Coldenham, LLC v. Maldonado, 2021-51001

CourtNew York Justice Court
Writing for the CourtRichard Clarino, J.
PartiesColdenham, LLC., Petitioner v. Katrina Maldonado, Respondent.
Decision Date25 October 2021
Docket Number2021-51001,21070005

Coldenham, LLC., Petitioner
v.

Katrina Maldonado, Respondent.

No. 2021-51001

Docket No. 21070005

Justice Court of the Town of Hamptonburgh, Orange County

October 25, 2021


Unpublished Opinion

BLUSTEIN, SHAPIRO, RICH & BARONE, LLP Attorney for Petitioner

KATRINA MALDONADO Respondent Pro Se

Richard Clarino, J.

On October 20, 2021, a hearing and trial were held in reference to this summary proceeding. Petitioner was represented by Jacob Tuckfelt, Esq. of Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP who called Jason Hartman and Joyce Foulkes as witnesses. Respondent appeared pro se, testified on her own behalf and called Matthew Wright as her witness.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner owns a two-family residence located at 51 Neelytown Road in the Town of Hamptonburgh. Respondent and her two children have resided in the second-floor apartment for over four years. Joyce Foulkes has resided in the first-floor apartment for about twenty years.

Petitioner commenced a proceeding (Docket # 21070005) alleging non-payment of rent and thereafter filed an additional petition (Docket# 20110005) alleging that respondent engaged in unreasonable behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or caused a substantial safety hazard to others. Respondent filed a Declaration of COVID Hardship. The matter proceeded to a combined hearing and trial to determine the validity of the COVID Hardship and the merits of the nuisance claim and the underlying claim for possession.

COVID HARDSHIP

Upon the commencing of the hearing, petitioner's attorney withdrew his motion for a COVID hardship hearing. As such, the court finds respondent's COVID hardship claim to be valid.

NUISANCE

The court credits the testimony of petitioner's principal, Jason Hartman, which is supported by respondent's testimony, that there are a number of bats occupying the attic area above respondent's apartment. The only access to the attic area is through respondent's apartment. Respondent changed the locks on her apartment doors and, on a number of occasions, unreasonably refused to permit petitioner access to both her apartment and the attic to correct the bat problem in the attic. [1] The bat problem remains uncorrected.

In addition, the court credits the testimony of petitioner, also supported by the testimony of respondent, that there is water leaking from the roof into respondent's apartment causing wet ceilings. Respondent testified that mold is...

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