Grill, Schieber and Glambosky win victory on behalf of a landlord involving the interpretation of NYS Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Civil Relief Act

July 29, 2013 | Appeals

David M. Grill, Evan Schieber and Erez Glambosky won a significant victory on behalf of a landlord involving the interpretation of the New York State Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Civil Relief Act, Military Law, Section 309 (“Act”).  The recent court decision issued by Justice Tingling in Greenwood v 240-242 West 10th Street, Corp., Supreme Court, New York County, Index No. 104357/12 (“Greenwood“) provides a significant defense for landlords faced with open-ended statutory claims for damages based on claimed violations of the Act.   The Greenwood litigation arises out of the tenant’s claim that she was forced to vacate her rent-stabilized apartment after the landlord refused to address serious leaks and water damage.   In a precedent-setting ruling, the Court in Greenwood dismissed the tenant’s cause of action for damages based on the contention that the landlord violated the Act and therefore should be responsible for a host of speculative damages.   The Court rejected the tenant’s attempt to create liability under the Act in the case of plaintiff’s constructive eviction claim.  Instead, the Court confirmed that the Act, which was enacted to protect servicemen and their dependents against eviction proceedings based on the non-payment of rent, was simply inapplicable, by its plain terms, to a constructive eviction claim.

Moreover, in a determination of first impression, the Court dismissed the tenant’s claim reasoning that the legislature did not intend to create a private right of action for tenants under the Act. This holding may well prove a valuable tool for landlords faced with tenants seeking to invoke the Act as a sword in an attempt to extract unwarranted concessions from landlords.  

Please click the link below to view Greenwood v. 240-242 West 10th Street Corp. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install.

Greenwood v. 240_242 West 10th Street Corp.

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