Just after midnight, six people defiled Kings County Housing Court at 141 Livingston St., spray-painting “EAT THE LANDLORDS” on its glass doors and using spray foam and bike locks to seal the entrance, sources said. A lot of people are counting on miracles.”, He knows the court befuddles tenants: “I’ve often had this discussion with tenants: ‘How much rent do you owe?’ They say four months. His health wavered. September 11, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle . Or can’t skip another day of work. The lawyer continued to dispute the claim. I expect a few rodents. A majority were on public assistance, but many were working- or middle-class, as housing cases have climbed the economic ladder. And then Princess Codwell. He lived with his girlfriend, two dogs and two cats. Additional reporting by Khristina Narizhnaya. A new owner was carving the place into multiple units. A woman named Gloria waited with her son, holding No. Unwritten protocol is that tenants wait inside a courtroom, often for hours, until landlords’ lawyers bustle in, bellow their names and beckon them to step out to talk. While some deceitful landlords and dishonorable tenants can be found at housing court, it mostly draws hurting families fighting to keep their homes. “These rents are like a bad stomachache,” she said. When he returned, the locks had been changed. Brooklyn Housing Court isn’t a courthouse, but a repurposed commercial building with inadequate space, balky elevators, grimy bathrooms and no privacy. They knocked on Mr. Caple’s apartment and asked to look around. Established in 1973, tenants seeking repairs or landlords seeking the ability to evict have converged on the court. And therefore no more home. The rest, who are a minority, get repayment schedules that can stretch for years. If there is a particular case you … Hence housing court. He paid the rent by money orders he slid into a box in the lobby. His response: Tough. I was worried to death.”. He hated housing court. For 12 years, he had lived in a Crown Heights apartment plagued by leaks and other shortcomings. Protesters decry looming eviction proceedings at Brooklyn housing court, Aug. 6, 2020. At the next court date, pressed again, he signed a stipulation to leave. “I buy 25-cent bags of peanuts and I wash the salt off because I have high blood pressure. She was being evicted from an apartment in East Flatbush. Reviews (718) 643-4885. The waiting added to the stress. Her case had dragged on for many months. The agreement omitted the $5,000. The one-shot room is where the Human Resources Administration, the city’s social-services agency, processes emergency payments to extinguish the arrears of tenants facing eviction. “That comment is outrageous,” he said. Both were approved for one-shots. Or think they’re speaking to an impartial court official when it’s actually the landlord’s lawyer. They were subsumed into it four years ago and couldn’t escape. positive, lived on Long Island with his aunt until she died, slept in a shelter for six months. The payments, called one-shot deals, are talked about all day, every day. She asked if he had children. Articles in this series examine New York's broken system for protecting tenants and affordable apartments. You will be asked to provide identifying information including your email. As a judge wrapped up a case involving a woman who had been given four months to move, the tenant added that a drunken neighbor had the habit of bursting into her apartment in his underwear. The landlord had rented out the couch. Woman going to Puerto Rico. Advocates Rally Outside Brooklyn Housing Court To Stop Evictions During Pandemic. I’m just me.”. He wanted her gone. Ms. Puritz and Ms. Klenfner got Legal Aid to represent them in 15 separate cases. A trio of eviction cases were dismissed by a judge when Legal Aid pointed out that Mr. Shahid had filed documents that appeared to have been notarized by someone who was dead. EMAIL. Today the bulk of its work is eviction proceedings. Last year, there were 21,074 across the city. “I came here with two pairs of shoes,” he said. The landlord’s lawyer strolled in now and asked the clerk, “Anything go on yet?”. Nevertheless, according to the biographical information provided in a report published by the Fund for Modern Courts in October 1994, fully one-third of the judges sitting in the Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn Housing Courts today come out of the Legal Aid Society or the Legal Services Corporation. He deposited the check. “It’s not worth the trouble,” she said. The lawyers gather details and then, on Thursday afternoons, assemble to chew over the tenants’ circumstances and determine whether to accept their cases. She had it repaired and subtracted the cost from her rent. I’ve seen $36.”. After over half an hour of struggling with the lock, the Marshal and the building's superintendent found that the evicted tenant had already moved out. Heela Capell typically sits in a courthouse nearly every day. Settled by the window was a small landlord, 85, who owned two rent-stabilized apartments in a building that had been converted to condominiums. The landlord had No. Some need cheaper housing or more income, not a lawyer. “Some of them do it to themselves or sometimes the system doesn’t help them get out of the way.”. It doesn’t create jobs. She had pictures: A hole near the radiator, emitting a foul sewage smell. I’m not going to go live on the street. Courthelp.gov The NYS Unified Court System’s website for … Doors … When they complained, the landlord slapped an eviction notice on their door, ordering them out in three days. Two women were talking on the fifth floor. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . His colleague said, “That’s the gestation period of an elephant.” Mr. Wasserman learned that the building management somehow hadn’t noticed that the tenant had ceased paying rent. There were nearly 69,000 filings last year in Brooklyn Housing Court, a vast majority of them eviction actions. They battle for their homes largely unrepresented by lawyers, making housing court the most lopsided court in the system. When Gloria found out, she got it reversed. Nearby, a young man sat at a folding table, entering cases into a computer for the tenant-screening services that offer blacklists — compilations that landlords can buy to identify tenants who have been in housing court, people they’ll avoid renting to. Then he had Shane Peters, 36, who had bought his first house in Canarsie. While she had previously agreed to leave in two weeks in return for $3,000, now she was asking for more time to find a new place. They inquire about one another’s children, like old friends catching up. He was moving to evict her for nonpayment. The landlord had put a stop on it. What do you want from me? Others on public assistance are expected to repay between 5 and 10 percent. Snored. At the end of February, the Brooklyn district attorney filed charges of forgery and related offenses against Mr. Shahid, stemming from the allegations that he had used a dead notary’s stamp and signature on court filings to evict tenants. At the help desk in the waiting room run by Housing Court Answers, a research and advocacy group, a man said loudly: “Seven times the landlord has tried to evict me. Mr. Wasserman heading to another appointment in housing court. I’m having a stroke here, a ministroke.”. For help answering your case, you can call Housing Court Answers at (212) 962-4795. So on to Albany. Approved. 53,928, This story has been shared 39,107 times. TWEET. His marriage had ended. SHARE. She mentioned to the judge that she didn’t have heat or hot water. The pace of evictions has slowed recently, as legal services for tenants have expanded and government payments for arrears have increased, but it remains high. He hears voices. Negotiations deal not with textiles or pottery, but with homes. We provide referrals to legal service providers and other eviction prevention organizations, resources, and agencies. “I’m just a lowly Housing Court judge,” the judge said. These were, in a number of instances, people working fundamental jobs. Technically, one-shots are loans. One tenants’ rights advocate acknowledged that she knew people who, upon receiving a one-shot, ceased paying rent. 39,107, © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved They were coming under the door, ‘Hey, what’s up, what’s for dinner?’ I found a dead mouse in my bed.”. Court-goers wait for their numbers to be called. He lives in a studio apartment in Midwood. Another time she was washing dishes and overfilled the sink. Tenant lawyers, however, have been scrambling to meet the heavier caseloads and finding themselves unable to devote as much time to individual cases. We hear family matters, personal injury claims, commercial disputes, trust and estates issues, criminal cases, and landlord-tenant cases. The city’s expectation is that no one should get multiple one-shots in a year. The woman said the ceiling fell on her while she was showering. The court is located at the corner of Livingston and Smith Streets in downtown Brooklyn. If you have a case from before the pandemic, your landlord will have to file a motion and have a … “Get an Albany vibe.”, “My best to you in the Snow Belt,” the judge said. New York Civil Court. Most of the others come from city and state agencies such as the Department of Housing Preservation and … But in this office, it is close to 99 percent. 141 Livingston Street (Corner of Smith Street) Brooklyn, NY 11201 2, 3, 4, or 5 train to Borough Hall station A, C or F train to Jay Street/Borough Hall station M, N or R train to Lawrence Street/Metro Tech station B25, B26, B37, B38, or B52 bus to Fulton & Jay Street B41, B45, or … Top Ten Mistakes Tenants Make in Housing Court By South Brooklyn Legal Services. Woman going to Indiana. He moved. Find 152 listings related to Housing Court in Brooklyn on YP.com. One day they found a young Italian woman setting up house on the foldout couch in the living room. “You know Albany gets a lot of snow.”. Legal. “It has always been the single defining thing about housing court since it was created, to try to create justice when most of the people on one side were represented and one side was not,” said Judge Jean T. Schneider, the citywide supervising judge for housing court. Accessibility (ADA) Directions. Then this: a couple with an autistic son, mushrooms growing on their bathroom walls, rats the size of their cat. “Said I couldn’t win. This was illegal. But it ends here, the last stop on the road to eviction. Fearful of the system ” ) rent-stabilized, $ 1,175 a month and a grumpiness! To the judge was exasperated ( “ I don ’ t work trial began then. And estates issues, criminal cases, and many are paying 75 or 80.! Comment is outrageous, ” said judge Eleanora Ofshtein:location.tagLine.value.text } } Sponsored Topics … New York.! They purport to represent. ” many people who, upon receiving a one-shot vanishes $. Will resume July 27 instances those are inadequate safeguards woman named Gloria waited with her son endured! Having a stroke here, a one-shot, ceased paying rent your case, yet the case was lined for. 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