Silverstein v. Huebner, 2022-31051

CourtNew York Civil Court
Writing for the CourtHON. JACK STOLLER J.H.C.
PartiesYEHUDA SILVERSTEIN, Petitioner, v. LEVI HUEBNER and ELIE POLTORAK, et al., Respondents.
Docket Number2022-31051,Index 94101/2018
Decision Date29 March 2022

YEHUDA SILVERSTEIN, Petitioner,
v.

LEVI HUEBNER and ELIE POLTORAK, et al., Respondents.

No. 2022-31051

Index No. 94101/2018

Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County

March 29, 2022


Unpublished Opinion

Present: Hon. Jack Stoller, Judge, Housing Court.

DECISION/ORDER

HON. JACK STOLLER J.H.C.

Recitation, as required by CPLR §2219(a), of the papers considered in the review of this motion:

Pages numbered
Order To Show Cause (Seq. #20) and Supplemental Affidavit and Affirmation Annexed 1, 2, 3
Affirmation and Affidavit In Opposition 4, 5
Affirmation and Affidavit In Reply 6, 7

Upon the foregoing papers, the Decision and Order on this motion are as follows:

Yehuda Silverstein, the petitioner in this proceeding ("Petitioner"), commenced this holdover proceeding against Levi Huebner, Suri Huebner, and Chaya Huebner ("Respondents"), respondents in this proceeding, and Elie Poltorak ("Co-Respondent"), another respondent in this proceeding, seeking possession of the subject premises. Petitioner obtained judgments against Respondents and Co-Respondent. The Court previously granted Co-Respondent's motion to stay execution of the warrant through March 15, 2022 for Co-Respondent to vacate possession. CoRespondent then applied for benefits pursuant to the Emergency Rent Assistance Program ("ERAP"), effectuating a statutory stay. Petitioner now moves to vacate the stay.

Petitioner previously obtained a judgment against Co-Respondent on inquest and a warrant issued. The Court denied prior motions of Co-Respondent to vacate the judgment.

1

Various statutes have stayed the execution of the warrant, but those stays have since been vacated. The Court resolved a previous order to show cause of Co-Respondent's by staying the execution of the warrant through March 15, 2022 for Co-Respondent to vacate. Co-Respondent applied for ERAP benefits on March 10, 2022.

Section 8 of subpart A of part BB of chapter 56 of the laws of 2021, as amended by Section 4 of part A of chapter 417 of the laws of 2021, stays eviction proceedings upon an ERAP application pending a determination of eligibility. On January 16, 2022, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks promulgated Administrative Order 34/22 ("AO 34/22"). AO 34/22 provides, inter alia, that "[e]viction matters where there is a pending ERAP application shall be stayed until a final determination of eligibility for rental assistance is issued by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) including appeals." As ERAP provides benefits to landlords as well as tenants, in the form of accrued rent arrears, a payment of rent arrears as such could naturally and foreseeably resolve litigation that had been over nonpayment of rent. A stay of litigation to advance a resolution of a dispute by alternative means is an acceptable means by which a procedural statute may address litigation. Harbor Tech LLC v. Correa, 73 Misc.3d 1211(A)(Civ. Ct. Kings Co. 2021).

However, when an ERAP application has no relevance to the resolution of the dispute before the Court or when the equities are so out of balance as to warrant an exception to the statute, Courts have vacated stays occasioned by ERAP applications. See, e.g., Kelly v. Doe, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 22077 (Civ. Ct. Kings Co.)(stay vacated when the ERAP applicants were squatters), Actie v. Gregory, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 50117(U)(Civ. Ct. Kings Co.)(stay vacated where an ERAP applicant was a tenant who had already moved out of the premises), Abuelafiya v. Orena, 73 Misc.3d 576 (Dist. Ct...

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