From Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s Newsletter, this excerpt outlines the planned opening of New York’s Housing Court. Note that evictions will only be for tenants in arrears due to non-COVID-19 related factors.
If you have any questions about NYC Housing Court, please call our hotline at 212-982-7800.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s Newsletter
Next week, eviction proceedings will again be permitted– but only against tenants who are not in arrears because of COVID-19 factors. But since Housing Court will operate with just 20% of non-judicial staff, and buildings will be subject to severe occupancy restrictions, parties should expect things to move very, very slowly. No trials or defaults will be taken until further notice.
Tenants should “answer” cases by phone; those who show up in person will be encouraged to return home and do so. The court will put stickers with the numbers to call on the postcards sent by the court clerks to tenants with eviction actions. Once answered, court dates will be set for after Phase II reopening. These are called “adjournments” and will be set longer than usual to allow tenants time to obtain all the legal advice possible before their court hearing.
Experienced clerks will be available just inside court buildings to review documents and direct tenants appropriately. Tenants who must come into the building will be provided with masks if necessary. Social distancing will be enforced, with a maximum of two people per elevator.
The Office of Civil Justice emergency hotline (staffed by attorneys and tenant advocates) will continue to operate as usual, weekdays from 9 am – 5 pm and can be accessed by calling 311 and requesting the Tenant Helpline.