Courts Reopening

Can evictions start yet?
NO. Thanks to the courts, not Cuomo, the universal eviction moratorium is STILL in effect. It’s in effect indefinitely but at least until July 7.

But I heard courts were open? 
As of June 22, Landlords can start new nonpayment or holdover cases, but they will not move forward. Tenants can sue for emergency repairs and illegal lockouts, electronically or in person.

Will I have a Court Date? If I do I need to go in-person? 
No tenant needs to go to court in person, unless it is on a case they brought for emergency repairs or illegal lockout AND they are unable to appear by video or phone. Unless the lockout is by another family member, all lockout and emergency repair cases will be referred to free legal services by the city’s Office of Civil Justice. For holdover or nonpayment cases started by the landlord, the tenant does not have to appear. No defaults will be taken, and the case will be move forward. The tenant should call 311 and ask for a lawyer.

When will evictions start? As per the State Court’s directives (March 16 & June 18): there are no evictions for any tenant for any reason, across NY State, until further court directive, and at least through July 7.

An exception is due to the Federal CARES act, if a landlord receives federal funding or if their mortgage received help from Freddie Mac and Fannie May, then they can’t serve rent demands, sue or evict before August 25. This moratorium is broader than many people know so please look up your building. You might be able to find out if your building is covered by searching your address at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/taxes/acris.page or, except for 1-4 unit buildings, here: https://nlihc.org/federal-moratorium

What should I do if I get a marshal’s notice?
If you get a marshal’s 14-day eviction notice after evictions resume, filing an Order to Show Cause can only stop it. To do this you can call 311 and ask to be connected with a tenant lawyer or call housing court answers.

Here’s a tentative timeline:

Tenants with pre-existing warrants for a holdover

Earliest Evictions could start 14 days after the court’s moratorium lifts,

Pre-existing warrants in nonpayment cases

This depends on whether or not the tenant is financially impacted by COVID:
The earliest date for landlords to file new nonpayment cases against COVID impacted tenants is August 21. There is no obligation to provide your financial documents, but you should consult with a lawyer to see whether it is advisable to do, or to send them a short general letter saying “I am protected by Executive Order 202.28 because I am experiencing financial hardship as the result of COVID-19.”

Tenants with pre-existing warrants for non-payment (not COVID impacted)
Earliest Evictions could start about 1 month after the court’s moratorium lifts. The landlord will first have to make a motion to the court, with notice to the tenant, asking for permission to execute the warrant, and show that the tenant is not COVID impacted.

Tenants with pre-existing warrants for non-payment (COVID impacted)
Earliest Evictions could start from 2 weeks to 1 month after August 20.

Evictions from new cases (started after June 20th)Earliest evictions could start months from now.

When can landlords start suing tenants for eviction?

New Nonpayment Case, (not COVID impacted)
Earliest date for landlords to file new lawsuits is June 22.

New Nonpayment Case, (COVID impacted)
Earliest Date for Landlords to file new nonpayment cases is August 21. Landlords might try, but they shouldn’t!  Do not provide your financial documents. You may want to send a short general letter to landlord saying “I am protected by Executive Order 202.28 because I am experiencing financial hardship as the result of COVID-19.”

New holdover cases
Earliest Date for Landlords to file new holdover cases is June 22.

Once an eviction proceeding begins, when/where will the court dates be?

For holdover cases, the papers served on the tenant will state the first court date, which will not be before July 7. This court date will be virtual (phone, skype, etc.) Tenants in NYC will be screened for and matched with an attorney. For nonpayment cases, there will only be a court date set when the tenant answers. The tenant can answer by phone, and the court papers will explain how to do that. A court date will then be set. Again, call 311 or Housing Court Answers to try to get free legal representation.

There will be long adjournments between the first and Second Court Date.  All tenants and landlords are entitled to at least one adjournment. The second court date is likely to be a virtual hearing.

There are no in-person court dates for now. We aren’t sure when they’ll start again.