In a New York County Supreme Court ejectment action, Adam Leitman Bailey P.C., prevailed on a motion for a temporary restraining order, then obtained an order of contempt against the non-complying occupants based on their illegal and dangerous use of a Class A apartment as a de facto single room occupancy dwelling and short-term rental enterprise.
The rent stabilized tenant of record of the apartment recently died, leaving behind multiple unauthorized occupants. Seeking to recover possession of the apartment, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. served the occupants with notices to quit alleging that the occupants were licensees of the deceased tenant, whose occupancy rights terminated when the tenant of record died. The occupants not only refused to vacate, but they subdivided the apartment by installing locks on individual bedroom doors and permitted others to occupy small portions of the apartment for short-term durations, which is illegal in New York.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. commenced a Supreme Court ejectment action asserting causes of action for ejectment and injunction based on the occupants’ holding over after the expiration of the notice to quit, and, in the alternative, the occupancy being illegal due to the occupants’ use of the premises for an illegal trade and business. We immediately moved by order to show cause for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining the occupants from (i) using the premises as a de facto, single room occupancy dwelling, (ii) using the premises for an illegal trade or business by subletting the premises and installing transient occupants in the premises on an illegal short-term basis (less than 30 days), and (iii) collecting rent or use and occupancy for the premises. The Court granted the motion.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. then moved for final judgment seeking ejectment of the occupants from the premises and a writ of assistance to remove the occupants from the apartment. In the meantime, we served the court’s injunction order on the occupants, which they ignored. We then moved for an order of contempt, arguing that the occupants willfully disregarded an unequivocal order of the court. We sought civil penalties against the occupants based on their violations of the court’s restraining order. The court granted the motion holding the occupants in contempt and awarded civil penalties to our client. The court also granted our motion for a preliminary injunction.