News you can use...or at least we can make you laugh.


Forward Forward
Tweet Tweet
Share Share

Latest U.S. Supreme Court Decision Signals a Major Victory for Landlords and Also for Common Sense

In a stunning display of common sense, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered to all New York Landlords a significant victory on August 12, 2021, when it struck down Part A of the Covid-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (CEEFPA) which had up to that point, resulted in an automatic stay of an eviction proceeding whenever a tenant had simply filled in and filed a Declaration of Hardship with the court or his landlord.

In Chrysafis v. Marks, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the controversial Declaration of Hardship form, which was required to be provided by a landlord and served on a tenant at the time an eviction proceeding was initiated, precluded the landlord from having an opportunity to contest the tenant's claim of hardship, and in so doing, violated the longstanding principle that "no man can be a judge in his own case."

The Declaration of Hardship, you will recall, did not require the tenant to supply any supporting documentation or proof of his claimed financial or health hardship. Further, the Declaration did not even have to be sworn to or notarized, although it did contain some general language reminding tenants about being truthful in their claim. Worse still, was that the Legislature, which had created this Declaration, did not provide any mechanism whereby a landlord who received such a form could have a court hearing to refute the claims of his tenant.

Therefore, under the Supreme Court ruling, eviction cases (both Holdovers and Non-Payment cases) where a Declaration of Hardship had been filed by a tenant, will no longer be subject to an automatic stay, blocking them from moving forward and proceeding. This is a major change and heralds a significant victory for struggling landlords.

Although no word has been received from the Court as to how and when it will now start to reactivate these stalled Declaration of Hardship cases, we are actively recommending that our landlord clients contact us to jumpstart this process by the making of a notice of motion to place the case on the Court's calendar. By being proactive in this approach, we can help our clients once more take charge of their eviction cases and move the process forward.

Although not technically required any longer, we are recommending to still include the Declaration form along with new eviction notices and pleadings, since the Legislature in Albany may try to back in some form of an alternate moratorium extension that does not run afoul of the Supreme Court's ruling and which might be applied retroactively.

While the Supreme Court's case no longer means an automatic stay of the eviction case, it should be noted that a Declaration of Hardship, which had been filed by the tenant, can still be considered by the Court as a form of evidence of the tenant's alleged claim of having suffered a hardship related to the Covid-19 pandemic. If unrefuted, this factor might be used by the Court as justification to try and fashion a somewhat more lenient disposition towards the tenant. It remains to be seen in the first round of test cases just how deeply the Court will probe into financial and/or health-related claimed hardships, if these issues are raised as a defense by a tenant.

Forward Forward
Tweet Tweet
Share Share
5 Latonia Road
Rye Brook, NY 10573

    Copyright © 2020 | Real Estate Solutions |, All rights reserved. 

subscription preferences

Courts to Replace Juries with Potted Plants

In a move to reopen the courts with all due COVID-19 precautions, Chief Judge Bludgeon has taken a tip from a recent performance at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Lieu, where the audience was replaced with potted plants:

“Potted plant” has a special resonance with defense lawyers, evoking Brendan Sullivan’s defiant, “I’m not a potted plant! I’m here as the lawyer, that’s MY job!” during the Iran-Contra hearings. The Chairman had suggested that Sullivan’s client Oliver North should make his own objections.

In an exclusive interview, Judge Bludgeon told us, “Even when there isn’t a pandemic, nobody wants to do jury duty. Replacing jurors with potted plants will keep everyone safe and eliminate the cost of buying them lunch.”

“But is it constitutional?” we queried.

“Absolutely,” said the judge. “Anyone facing serious criminal charges is guaranteed a jury of twelve. Nothing says it has to be twelve humans.”

“So it could be twelve dogs?”

“Don’t be flippant!” snarled Bludgeon. “Everybody knows a dog can’t make credibility determinations. They believe anyone who pets them. But have you ever seen a biased plant? No. And by the way, we’re uncompromisingly committed to diversity. It’s not going to be all dusty rubber plants.”

“But plants don’t have any brains!” we objected.

“And your point is?”

“Well, but how do they render a verdict?”

“That’s the beauty part,” chuckled Bludgeon. “The judge decides the verdict. After all, the judge saw and heard the witnesses.”

“Surely defense lawyers will object to that!”

“They can’t. We’ve replaced them with potted plants too.”
We provide the subject matter expertise and expert testimony indispensable to successfully litigating complex cases, civil and criminal,  involving  a diverse range of issues relating directly or indirectly to real property or interests in real property. 

We support your litigation from the beginning with thorough research by experienced investigators, following through with expertly developed reports and culminating in confident data driven supportable and credible expert testimony. 

We bring the same thoroughness and meticulous research and preparation to real property related valuation based tax issues. We also bring the same thoroughly researched data driven approach to  zoning  applications and   land use issues. 

Visit us online or contact us to find out more about our services.
We are seeking submissions.  If you would like to write the feature article in a future edition, please read our submission instructions and editorial guidelines.

If you have a case you  think is important or interesting we would be glad to post it on our web site (where it would also be archived). We will credit you for the submission.  Please send it to us.