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Landry v. Harris

Other Lower Courts

January 26, 2008

Christopher Landry, Jr., Petitioner,
v.
Taquana Harris, Jane Doe, and John Doe, Respondents.

Editorial Note:

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

COUNSEL

James E. Kasdon, New York City, for petitioner.

Peter Axelrod & Associates, P.C., New York City (Peter Axelrod and Dana Kalichman of counsel), for respondents.

OPINION

Gerald Lebovits, J.

In this summary licensee holdover proceeding brought under RPAPL 713 (7), petitioner Christopher Landry, Jr., seeks to evict respondents Taquana Harris, his former girlfriend; Azlan Sakima Landry, their three-year-old son; and Alsatia Ragusa, Harris's daughter from a different relationship; and. Landry references Alsatia as Jane Doe and Azlan as John Doe. Harris, Alsatia, and Azlan live in a valuable three-bedroom cooperative apartment in Chelsea. Landry is the sole proprietary lessee and shareholder.

Landry and Harris's relationship has turned sour. Pending in Criminal Court, New York County, is a prosecution against Landry for the class "A" misdemeanor of Aggravated Harassment (Penal Law 240.30) allegedly committed against Harris. Criminal Court in that action has issued a temporary order of protection against Landry in Harris and Azlan's favor. Also pending are custody, visitation, and support proceedings in Family Court, New York County. Family Court has awarded temporary custody of Azlan to Harris.

Respondents now move to dismiss the petition or, in the alternative, to stay this proceeding pending Family Court's final determinations.

Harris's motion to dismiss arises under CPLR 3211 (a) (2) & (7). She argues that Landry may not bring a licensee proceeding against Harris. According to Harris, she is not a licensee whose license Landry may revoke. The court denies the motion. Civil Court has subject-matter jurisdiction over this proceeding, and Landry has stated a cause of action. In making that determination, this court does not suggest that petitioner can or will prevail at trial, but merely that a trial is required.

The case law is divided on whether someone may prevail in a licensee proceeding against a former paramour.

Forbidding in many circumstances a licensee proceeding against a former paramour are DeJesus v Rodriguez, 196 Misc.2d 881 (Hous Part, Civ Ct, Richmond County 2003); Sestayo v Santiago, NYLJ, May 18, 1996, at 25, col 1 (Hous Part, Civ Ct, Kings County); and Minors v Tyler, 137 Misc.2d 505 (Hous Part, Civ Ct, Bronx County 1987).

Allowing in many circumstances a licensee proceeding against a former paramour are Valentino v Reyes, NYLJ, Mar 16, 2006, at 18, col 3 (Hous Part, Civ Ct, Bronx County); Eckles v Sealy, NYLJ, Apr. 17, 2002, at 27, col 6 (Hous Part, Civ Ct, Kings County); and Blake v Stradford, 188 Misc.2d 347 (Dist Ct, Nassau County 2001).

Part of the division focuses on facts that arise here and whose inferences and weight the parties dispute: whether the parties moved into the subject premises together; how long they lived together; whether they held themselves out as husband and wife or as nontraditional family members; whether they have a child in common; whether they shared household expenses; whether the supposed licensee contributed toward the home's purchase price, maintenance, or improvements; and what type of home is at issue--a ...


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