Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington, L & T Index No. 000223/2020

CourtNew York Civil Court
Writing for the CourtDiane E. Lutwak, J.
Citation155 N.Y.S.3d 741,73 Misc.3d 721
Decision Date18 October 2021
Docket NumberL & T Index No. 000223/2020
Parties Ramon SANCHEZ-TIBEN, Petitioner (Landlord), v. Steven WASHINGTON, Respondent (Tenant).

73 Misc.3d 721
155 N.Y.S.3d 741

Ramon SANCHEZ-TIBEN, Petitioner (Landlord),
v.
Steven WASHINGTON, Respondent (Tenant).

L & T Index No. 000223/2020

Civil Court, City of New York, Bronx County.

Decided on October 18, 2021


155 N.Y.S.3d 742

Petitioner's Attorney: Geovanny Fernandez, Esq., Geovanny@gmail.com, 1000 Grand Concourse, Suite B, Bronx, New York 10451, (718) 813-7819

Respondent's Attorney: Jason M. Hadley, Esq., JMHadley@legal-aid.org, The Legal Aid Society, Bronx Neighborhood Office, 260 East 161st Street, 8th floor, Bronx, New York 10451, (917) 952-1567

Diane E. Lutwak, J.

73 Misc.3d 722

For the reasons stated below, Petitioner's motion for an order invalidating Respondent's Hardship Declaration, issuing a warrant of eviction and granting a money judgment for unpaid use and occupancy is granted to the extent of setting the matter down for a virtual hearing on November 22, 2021 at 12:00 noon pursuant to L. 2021, Ch. 417, Part C, Subpart A, § 10(a) to determine the validity of Respondent's Hardship Declaration.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

This is a "no cause" holdover eviction proceeding commenced by Notice of Petition and Petition dated January 2, 2020 based upon a predicate 30-day tenancy termination notice. The Petition states that the premises are not subject to rent regulation due to being located in a two-family house. At the first scheduled court date in Resolution Part D on January 21, 2020 Petitioner by counsel and Respondent pro se settled the case in an agreement which granted Petitioner a final judgment of possession, warrant to issue forthwith, execution stayed through February 28, 2020. Conditioned on compliance with the agreement, Petitioner's claims for rent and use and occupancy, and Respondent's defenses to such claims, were severed for a plenary action. The case was discontinued as against "John Doe" and "Jane Doe" based upon Respondent's representation that he resided alone.

Prior to a City Marshal requisitioning issuance of a warrant of eviction, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Governor Cuomo issued his "New York State on Pause"

155 N.Y.S.3d 743

Executive Order on March 20, 2020 and all non-essential court proceedings and processes were postponed.

73 Misc.3d 723

On October 21, 2020 the court approved Petitioner's request to convert this case to e-filing, after which Petitioner filed a motion via NYSCEF (New York State Courts Electronic Filing system) to restore the proceeding to the calendar on a future "date to be determined by the court" for issuance of a warrant of eviction pursuant to Directives and Procedures (DRP) 213 of New York City Civil Court's Administrative Judge. Before the motion was calendared, the New York State legislature enacted the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA), L. 2020, Ch. 381, effective December 28, 2020.1 A key feature of CEEFPA was its authorization of stays of eviction proceedings and evictions — originally through May 1, 2021 and then extended by the legislature in early May through August 31, 2021 - for tenants experiencing a financial hardship and/or for whom vacating the premises and moving into new permanent housing would pose a significant health risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mechanism for triggering these stays under CEEFPA was the tenant's completion and submission to their landlord or the court of a specified "Hardship Declaration" form, defined in CEEFPA Part A, § 1(b). The tenant's selection of the "financial hardship" option on the form created a rebuttable presumption that the tenant was experiencing financial hardship. CEEFPA Part A, § 11.

The Court calendared Petitioner's motion initially for June 3, 2021 in the Housing Motion Part (HMP). On that date the case was transferred to Part D and adjourned first to June 22 and then June 30, 2021. Prior to the June 30, 2021 adjourned date, on June 24, 2021 Respondent filed a Hardship Declaration with the court by his newly-retained counsel. Respondent checked off the box on the form indicating that he was "experiencing financial hardship" and unable to pay his rent or use and occupancy because of "one or more" of a list of five COVID-19 pandemic related factors. Accordingly, the Court stayed Petitioner's still pending DRP-213 motion pursuant to CEEFPA and re-calendared it for a virtual conference on September 10, 2021.

73 Misc.3d 724

On August 12, 2021, CEEFPA Part A was enjoined by the United States Supreme Court in Chrysafis v. Marks, 2021 US LEXIS 3635, ––– U.S. ––––, 141 S.Ct. 2482, ––– L.Ed.2d –––– (Aug 12, 2021). However, effective September 2, 2021, the New York State legislature enacted Chapter 417 of the Laws of 2021 which, inter alia , re-instated many of the Hardship Declaration provisions and extended the prohibition on evictions through January 15, 2022 for residential tenants who suffered financial hardship during the COVID-19 "covered period". L. 2021, Ch. 417, Pt C/Subpt A, § 6. The new law also added a mechanism for petitioners to challenge the validity of Hardship...

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5 practice notes
  • Bitzarkis v. Evans, Index No. 81766/2019
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • October 20, 2021
    ...upon such a showing, then, Petitioner proves an entitlement to a hearing as a prima facie matter. See Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington , 73 Misc.3d 721, 155 N.Y.S.3d 741 (Civ. Ct. Bronx Co. 2021).73 Misc.3d 831 Respondent argues that Petitioner did not show the requisite "good faith" to obtain a......
  • Hernandez v. Vasquez, Index No. 50488/2019
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • November 3, 2021
    ...NY Misc LEXIS 5253, 2021 WL 4945158 [Civ Ct Kings Co] ); Bitzarkis v Evans, supra ; Sanchez-Tiben v Washington (2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 21276, 73 Misc.3d 721, 2021 NY Misc LEXIS 4898, 2021 WL 4839235 [Civ Ct Bx Co] ); and compare Casey v Whitehouse Estates Inc (2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 21245, 73 Misc.......
  • Lahijani v. Madison Global LLC, Index No. LT-306321-21/NY
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • November 10, 2021
    ...solely from public assistance, remained the same during the pandemic]; Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington , ––– Misc.3d ––––, ––– N.Y.S.3d ––––, 73 Misc.3d 721, 155 N.Y.S.3d 741, 2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 21276 [Bronx Cty., Civ. Ct., Oct. 18, 2021] [hearing granted where landlord observed tenant coming a......
  • 3905 Assoc. LLC v. Clark, Index No. 312976/2021
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • April 13, 2022
    ...COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA). (L. 2020, Ch. 381; see generally , Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington , 73 Misc. 3d 721, 723-724, 155 N.Y.S.3d 741 [Civ. Ct., Bronx County 2021] ).1 Among the important functions of DRP motions is giving respondents additional no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Bitzarkis v. Evans, Index No. 81766/2019
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • October 20, 2021
    ...upon such a showing, then, Petitioner proves an entitlement to a hearing as a prima facie matter. See Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington , 73 Misc.3d 721, 155 N.Y.S.3d 741 (Civ. Ct. Bronx Co. 2021).73 Misc.3d 831 Respondent argues that Petitioner did not show the requisite "good faith" to obtain a......
  • Hernandez v. Vasquez, Index No. 50488/2019
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • November 3, 2021
    ...NY Misc LEXIS 5253, 2021 WL 4945158 [Civ Ct Kings Co] ); Bitzarkis v Evans, supra ; Sanchez-Tiben v Washington (2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 21276, 73 Misc.3d 721, 2021 NY Misc LEXIS 4898, 2021 WL 4839235 [Civ Ct Bx Co] ); and compare Casey v Whitehouse Estates Inc (2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 21245, 73 Misc.......
  • Lahijani v. Madison Global LLC, Index No. LT-306321-21/NY
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • November 10, 2021
    ...solely from public assistance, remained the same during the pandemic]; Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington , ––– Misc.3d ––––, ––– N.Y.S.3d ––––, 73 Misc.3d 721, 155 N.Y.S.3d 741, 2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 21276 [Bronx Cty., Civ. Ct., Oct. 18, 2021] [hearing granted where landlord observed tenant coming a......
  • 3905 Assoc. LLC v. Clark, Index No. 312976/2021
    • United States
    • New York Civil Court
    • April 13, 2022
    ...COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA). (L. 2020, Ch. 381; see generally , Sanchez-Tiben v. Washington , 73 Misc. 3d 721, 723-724, 155 N.Y.S.3d 741 [Civ. Ct., Bronx County 2021] ).1 Among the important functions of DRP motions is giving respondents additional no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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