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MARIA DE KOSENKO v. ARTHUR BRANDT ET AL. (12/10/68)

SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


December 10, 1968

MARIA DE KOSENKO, RESPONDENT,
v.
ARTHUR BRANDT ET AL., APPELLANTS

Concur -- Botein, P. J., Stevens, Eager, Steuer and Capozzoli, JJ.

Plaintiff seeks to add a cause of action in which she asks for treble damages because of an unlawful eviction which occurred in October, 1966. Such cause of action is based upon New York City Local Law No. 49, which was enacted in July, 1967 and which added subdivision j to section Y51-11.0 of the Administrative Code. Local Law No. 49 is penal in nature, and, since no contrary intention is expressed therein, it should not be retroactively applied to an eviction which occurred substantially before it was enacted. (44 N. Y. Jur., Penalties and Forfeitures, ยง 8, pp. 178-179.) "The general rule is that statutes are to be construed as prospective only * * * It takes a clear expression of the legislative purpose to justify a retroactive application [citing cases]". (Jacobus v. Colgate, 217 N. Y. 235, 240; Matter of Container Co. [Corsi], 298 N. Y. 277.)

Disposition

Order, entered on August 5, 1968, granting plaintiff's motion for leave to amend her complaint by adding a seventh cause of action, unanimously reversed, on the law, with $30 costs and disbursements to defendants-appellants, and motion denied.

19681210

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