Laporte v. Garcia, 2022-22126

CourtNew York Civil Court
Writing for the CourtOmer Shahid, J.
PartiesAnthony Laporte, Petitioner, v. Katherine Garcia, Respondent.
Decision Date11 April 2022
Docket Number2022-22126,Index L & T 001358/21

Anthony Laporte, Petitioner,

Katherine Garcia, Respondent.

No. 2022-22126

Index No. L & T 001358/21

Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County

April 11, 2022

Attorney for Petitioner: Jordan J. Tapia, Esq., Moss & Tapia Law, LLC

Attorney for Respondent: Alberto Moises Gonzalez, Esq., Mobilization For Justice, Inc.

Omer Shahid, J.

Recitation, as required by C.P.L.R. § 2219(a), of the papers considered in the review of Petitioner's Motion to Vacate the E.R.A.P. Stay (Motion No.1 on N.Y.S.C.E.F.):

Papers Numbered

Notice of Motion (Motion # 1 on N.Y.SC.E.F.) 1

Affirmation in Opposition (Entries 9-11 on N.Y.S.C.E.F.) 2

Petitioner, the primary tenant, commenced this holdover proceeding seeking possession of 828 E. 149th Street, Apt. 901, Bronx, NY 10455 (the "subject premises") from Respondent. Respondent obtained counsel and a written answer was filed on N.Y.S.C.E.F. on February 11, 2022.

On the February 15, 2022 appearance, Respondent, through counsel, informed the court that she filed an application for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program ("E.R.A.P."). The matter was placed on the court's E.R.A.P. administrative calendar, pending determination of eligibility, pursuant to the stay imposed by Part BB, Subpart A, § 8 of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2021 (the "E.R.A.P. Statute") as amended by Part A, § 4 of Chapter 417 of the Laws of 2021 (the "Act"). On February 22, 2022, Petitioner filed the instant motion on N.Y.S.C.E.F. seeking to vacate the stay and the court calendared the motion with the return date of March 15, 2022. Respondent filed opposition papers on N.Y.S.C.E.F. on March 11, 2022. On the March 15, 2022 appearance, the motion was marked submitted for decision.

Petitioner seeks an order vacating the E.R.A.P. stay on the ground that the instant matter is a holdover proceeding and not a nonpayment proceeding. Petitioner also maintains that he has no intention of accepting any E.R.A.P. funds that may issue on Respondent's behalf and will not participate in the process because he seeks possession.

Respondent opposes the motion. Respondent argues that the E.R.A.P. stay is applicable to holdover proceedings and not restricted to only nonpayment proceedings. Respondent also argues that a request of use and occupancy can trigger the E.R.A.P. stay and that a landlord's participation in the process is irrelevant. Lastly, Respondent maintains that an E.R.A.P. stay here is appropriate as Respondent has an illusory tenancy based upon Respondent's allegation that she has occupied the subject premises by herself since September 14, 2021.

Respondent is correct in arguing that the E.R.A.P. stay applies to holdover proceedings as well. Section 8 of Part BB, Subpart A of the E.R.A.P. Statute as amended by Part A, Section 4 of the Act provides in pertinent part: "[I]n any pending eviction proceeding, whether filed prior to, on, or after the effective date of this act, against a household who has applied or subsequently applies for benefits under this program or any local program administering federal emergency rental assistance program funds to cover all or part of the arrears claimed by the petitioner, all...

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