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COVID-19

New Court Directives Expected To Take Effect June 20, 2020

New Court Directives Expected To Take Effect June 20, 2020

In a prior memo, we provided details of the Governor’s May 7, 2020 Executive Order (202.28) prohibiting the commencement of nonpayment eviction proceedings for the period of June 20, 2020 through August 20, 2020, against any residential or commercial tenant who is eligible for unemployment benefits under state or federal law, or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. In light of this Order, on May 22, 2020, the Administrative Judge of New York Civil Court issued three directives taking effect on June 20, 2020.

  • The first directive provides that any landlord seeking to commence a summary proceeding for nonpayment of rent against a commercial or residential tenant must file, along with the petition, an affidavit by a person with knowledge of the facts stating that the tenant is not eligible for unemployment benefits under state or federal law, or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

  • The other two directives are similar in content. One requires the filing of the same affidavit when applying for a default judgment in a summary nonpayment proceeding. The third directive requires the making of a motion, supported by the same affidavit, to enforce a warrant of eviction awarded before March 20, 2020.

As of now, these directives take effect on June 20, 2020. Many landlord attorneys, however, feel that these directives are unfair and unworkable. In that regard, there have been a number of meetings scheduled between the Administrative Judge and members of the bar to discuss a number of issues, including enforcement of these directives. Our hope is that these directives will be modified because, as they now stand, it will be difficult for landlords to commence nonpayment proceedings before August 20, 2020.

We will keep you informed of any further changes and as matters develop.