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Center For Behavioral Health Services, Inc. v. Bock

Other Lower Courts

January 4, 2008

Center for Behavioral Health Services, Inc. ["CBHS"], Petitioner (Over-tenant-Licensor),
v.
Michael Bock, Respondent (Under-tenant-Licensee)

Editorial Note:

This case is not published in a printed volume and its disposition appears in a table in the reporter.

COUNSEL

The petitioner was represented by: Jonathan Weinberger, Esq.

The respondent was represented by: Jonathan D. Cohen, Esq.

OPINION

George M. Heymann, J.

INTRODUCTION

The petitioner, CBHS, operates a scatter-site supported housing program in Brooklyn, New York, which is tailored for single men and women, over the age of eighteen, who have Axis I mental health diagnosis. Supported Housing is designed "to ensure that individuals who are seriously and persistently mentally ill (SPMI) may exercise their right to choose where they are going to live, taking into consideration the recipient's functional skills, the range of affordable housing options available in the area under consideration, and the type and extent of services and resources that recipients require to maintain their residence with the community." [1]

CBHS rents individual apartments in various buildings and participants in the program occupy the apartments with a roommate. Each participant must enter into an Agreement / Sublease with CBHS for a one year period, unless terminated sooner for default in compliance at which time CBHS may serve a 10 day Notice of Termination and commence an eviction proceeding. The monthly housing fee is 30% of the participant's monthly income regardless of the rent that CBHS pays to the landlord. Each participant is assigned a case manager who meets with them on a weekly basis.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner is the over-tenant licensor of the subject premises located at 307 Martense Street, Apt. 5B, Brooklyn, New York 11226 pursuant to a written lease with the owner of the premises, 307-323 Martense Realty, LLC. The respondent is the under-tenant-licensee residing in the subject premises. He is 53 years of age and suffers from major depression, an anxiety disorder and physical disabilities including kidney problems. He has resided in these premises since February 2002.

In or about May 2006, respondent was given a new sublease agreement for a one year term to commence May 1, 2006 and ending on April 30, 2007. On May 30, 2006, the respondent signed the agreement. However, at the end of the last printed paragraph (20. No Jury Trial - No Counterclaim - Attorneys Fees) the respondent wrote the following: "Michael Block does not agree to # 20 in this lease. Michael Block 5-30-06 ".

The petitioner refused to accept this altered sublease and considers the respondent a month to month tenant.

In 2004, prior to commencing the instant holdover proceeding, the petitioner commenced a summary proceeding based on the alleged problematic conduct of the respondent with respect to his roommates [L T # 81822/04]. At that time respondent was represented by a guardian ad litem and consented to vacate the premises by November 30, 2004. Thereafter the Urban Justice Center ["UJC"], which is currently representing the respondent in the case at bar, made an application to vacate the stipulation and requested additional time for the respondent to vacate as the UJC claimed to be looking for suitable housing for him. On January 20, 2005, the court [Hoyos, J.] denied the application and vacated all stays. Although the petitioner was then allowed to go forward with an eviction, it opted to give the respondent another opportunity to rectify his conduct. As a result of the alleged continued conduct of the respondent the present proceeding was commenced with the service of a notice of termination dated December 21, 2006.

RESPONDENT'S MOTION [2] AND PETITIONER'S CROSS MOTION

The respondent moves for dismissal of this proceeding or, in the alternative, leave to file an amended answer and for discovery. The petitioner seeks an order granting the petition, use and occupancy and striking the defenses and counterclaims.

The positions of the parties can be summed ...


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