Shalimar Leasing, LP v. Medina, 2020-665 Q C

CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
Citation155 N.Y.S.3d 520,73 Misc.3d 22
Decision Date08 October 2021
Parties SHALIMAR LEASING, LP, Appellant, v. Ramona MEDINA and Mercedes Torres, Respondents, et al., Undertenants.
Docket Number2020-665 Q C

73 Misc.3d 22
155 N.Y.S.3d 520

SHALIMAR LEASING, LP, Appellant,
v.
Ramona MEDINA and Mercedes Torres, Respondents, et al., Undertenants.

2020-665 Q C

Supreme Court, Appellate Term, New York, Second Dept., 2, 11, 13 Jud. Dist.

Decided on October 8, 2021


Daniels Norelli Cecere & Tavel, P.C. (George H. Norelli, Denise May and Sherrie A. Taylor of counsel), for appellant.

Queens Legal Services (Melissa Banks and Nikki Ramroop of counsel), for respondents.

PRESENT: THOMAS P. ALIOTTA, P.J., MICHELLE WESTON, DAVID ELLIOT, JJ.

73 Misc.3d 23

ORDERED that the order is reversed, without costs, and occupant's motion to vacate the stipulation of settlement is denied.

Landlord commenced this holdover proceeding to recover possession of a rent-stabilized apartment on the ground that the tenant of record was not using the apartment as her primary residence. Occupant, Mercedes Torres, appeared and asserted her right to succeed to the tenancy as a nontraditional family member (see Rent Stabilization Code [9 NYCRR] § 2523.5 [b] [1] ). Landlord and occupant entered into a so-ordered stipulation (Malaika Scott-McLaughlin, J.) whereby landlord agreed to permit occupant to remain in possession of the apartment for six months and occupant agreed to pay arrears in use and occupancy as well as use and occupancy for six months, and to vacate at the end of the six months. Soon after, occupant moved to vacate the stipulation on the ground that she had not understood that she was waiving her succession claim. In an order dated March 4,

155 N.Y.S.3d 522

2020, the Civil Court (Malaika Scott-McLaughlin, J.) granted occupant's motion, finding that occupant had "inadvisedly" entered into the stipulation, that the stipulation was unduly harsh and that occupant has a colorable succession claim.

Landlord commenced this proceeding after serving notice of its intent not to renew tenant's lease on the ground that she

73 Misc.3d 24

did not reside in the rent-stabilized apartment, but rather lived in Florida.1 The petition alleged that the apartment was occupied by Mercedes Torres, the respondent on this appeal. Ms. Torres, represented by counsel, answered, asserting as an affirmative defense that she was a family member of tenant and continuously co-resided in the apartment with tenant for such a period as to succeed to the tenancy. The verified answer contained a certification that it had been interpreted to her in Spanish.

Prior to entering into the stipulation which is the subject of this appeal, Ms. Torres, represented by counsel, entered into several stipulations, including one to produce succession documents and another to adjourn the proceedings for discovery motion practice. At all proceedings, an interpreter was provided for Ms. Torres and her counsel was present.

Following multiple pre-trial conferences, the attorneys for the parties in the presence of their clients entered into a stipulation which resolved this matter. Throughout the negotiation of the stipulation at issue, a court interpreter was present to aid counsel with discussion of the merits of the case and the potential pitfalls of trial with Ms. Torres. Once the parties had an agreement, the Civil Court, with the assistance of an official interpreter, spoke with Ms. Torres in open court. The court informed Ms. Torres that "she was agreeing to vacate the apartment and she stated that she understood the content of the stipulation and entered into it voluntarily." Ms. Torres then made one payment in accordance with the stipulation.

It was not until after speaking with a tenant organizer in the building that Ms. Torres moved to vacate the stipulation. Ms. Torres does not dispute that the stipulation was read to her in her preferred language, Spanish, prior to its signing. Rather, she alleges that she did not understand what she was signing. Under the circumstances presented, Ms. Torres's proffered ground for vacating the stipulation was insufficient to warrant the granting of her motion.

"Stipulations of settlement are favored by the courts and not lightly cast aside" ( Hallock v. State of New York , 64 N.Y.2d 224, 230, 485 N.Y.S.2d 510, 474 N.E.2d 1178 [1984] ). However, a stipulation may be set aside where there is proof that the stipulation was...

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1 practice notes
  • People v. Nemcow, 570250/19
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
    • 12 octobre 2021
    ...notified. Following that notification, defendant sent emails to a supervisor claiming that complainant "smoked weed, w[ore] gang attire, 155 N.Y.S.3d 520 strip[ped] naked in social media posts," had "sex with [a] client," and defendant threatened to "take these photos of her to the media." ......
1 cases
  • People v. Nemcow, 570250/19
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
    • 12 octobre 2021
    ...notified. Following that notification, defendant sent emails to a supervisor claiming that complainant "smoked weed, w[ore] gang attire, 155 N.Y.S.3d 520 strip[ped] naked in social media posts," had "sex with [a] client," and defendant threatened to "take these photos of her to the media." ......

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