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Parkash v. Almonte

Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County

June 18, 2013

Ved Parkash, Petitioner,
v.
Rafael L Almonte, and MARICELA NIVAR, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, ARNALDO RODRIGUEZ, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, ANGEL NOBOA TEJEDA, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, ROSA M. RIVERA, Respondent(s). PARKASH 180 LLC, Petitioner, JOSEPH MARTE, and YOKAIRA MARTE, Respondent(s). PARKASH 180 LLC, Petitioner, MERCEDES E. ROLLERI, Respondent(s). PARKASH 1718 LLC, Petitioner, DAISY BERRIDO, Respondent(s). PARKASH 1718 LLC, Petitioner, ROSANA SUAREZ, Respondent(s). PARKASH 2115 LLC, Petitioner, MARTHA GONZALEZ, Respondent(s). PARKASH 2165 LLC, Petitioner, VANESSA MARIS RODRIGUEZ, Respondent(s). PARKASH 2165 LLC, Petitioner, SOLANGE M. GUERRERO, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, FLOR M. RUIZ, Respondent(s). PARKASH 2625 LLC Petitioner, DARIEL MEJIA, and JOEL T. VASQUEZ, Respondent(s). PARKASH 190 LLC, Petitioner, ROSALIND DAWSON-SAUNDERS, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, FRANCES FULGENCIO, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, JOSE DIAZ, and DORA M. CALDERON, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, SILVA M. PETRUS, Respondent(s). PARKASH 197 LLC, Petitioner, YESSICA DE FERRI, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, JENNIFER MOSCOSO, and CRISMELY Y. TAVAREZ, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner, BARBARA A. ROSA, and MIGUEL A. ROSA, Respondent(s). PARKASH 3990 LLC, Petitioner, JAMISON T. BOWMAN, Respondent(s). PARKASH 4769 LLC, Petitioner, GEORGE R. MYERS, Respondent(s). PARKASH 4769 LLC, Petitioner, JASON R. WILLIAMS, Respondent(s). PARKASH 242 LLC, Petitioner, TEOFILO PONCE, Respondent(s). PARKASH 242 LLC, Petitioner, SUZETTE S. POWELL, Respondent(s). VED PARKASH, Petitioner,
v.
ARNALDO RODRIGUEZ, Respondent(s).

Anurag Parkash, Esq. Amjad Farhat, c/o Anurag Parkash, Esq. Raphael L. Almonte and Maricela Navir Arnaldo Rodriguez Angel Noboa Tejeda Rosa M. Rivera Joseph Marte and Yokaira Marte Mercedes E. Rolleri Daisy Berrido Rosana Suarez Martha Gonzalez Vanessea A. Maris Rodriguez Solange M. Guerrero Flor M. Ruiz Dariel Mejia and Joel T. Vasquez Rosalind Dawson-Saunders Frances Fulgencio Silva M. Petrus Yessica De Ferri Jennifer Moscoso and Crismely Y. Tavarez Barbara A. Rosa and Miguel A. Rosa Jamison T. Bowman George R Myers Jason R. Williams Teofilo Ponce Suzette S. Powell.

Susan Avery, J.

Petitioners commenced the instant twenty-five (25) summary non payment proceedings seeking possession of residential premises located throughout Bronx County. Each proceeding is premised upon the allegation that each respondent failed to pay rent. Petitioners now separately move, in each of the above captioned cases, for the entry of a default judgment and the issuance of a warrant of eviction, based upon the allegations that at the time of submission of each application, each respondent failed to appear or answer the petition and each remained in rental arrears.

MILITARY INVESTIGATION PRIOR TO DEFAULT JUDGMENT

As relevant to the instant decision, in housing court summary non-payment proceedings [1] Federal Law [2] and New York State Law [3] require that, prior to the court signing a default judgment, a petitioner must submit an affidavit, stating that each respondent is not in active military duty or dependent on anyone in active military duty. A petitioner must comply with both the Federal and State requirements. [4]

CONSOLIDATION

Each of the thirty-one (31) affidavits of military status submitted for each of the twenty-five (25) above captioned cases [5] read identically, except as to names and times. Each is sworn to by the same individual, notarized by the same notary and sworn to on the same date. Each investigation as to each respondent's military status or dependency, is alleged to have been conducted personally, with twenty-five (25) different named respondents, all on May 3, 2013, and all within a three (3) hour and seven (7) minute time span. [6] Each affidavit concludes that each respondent is not in active military service or dependant on anyone in active military duty. As a result, this court is given pause, to make further inquiry as to the veracity of the allegations in the affidavits. [7] Accordingly, this court consolidates these matters solely for purposes of the instant submissions, and issues the instant interim decision.

PURPOSE OF MILITARY INVESTIGATION

As relevant to the instant decision, the military laws provide for a restraint against eviction during the period of military service with respect to premises occupied by persons in active military service or their dependents in actions or proceedings affecting the right of possession. [8] The purpose of both state and federal statutes restricting a landlord's right to evict individuals in active military duty, or their dependents is to protect individuals serving in the military from a default judgment being entered against them without their knowledge. [9] The fundamental goal of each act is to protect the rights of service members and their dependents while service members actively serve their country, so that they may devote all of their energy to the defense of the nation without distraction. [10]

In compliance with the foregoing, courts must be "meticulous with respect to the protection of the rights accorded individuals in active military service, and those persons dependent upon those actively engaged in such service" [11] as "[m]ilitary personal who have been defending the country should not return home only to find that, in fact, they have no home." [12] Accordingly, the acts are to "be liberally construed to protect those who have been obliged to drop their own affairs to take up the burdens of the nation." [13]

Based upon the forgoing, an affidavit submitted by a petitioner stating that a respondent is not in active military duty or dependent on anyone in active military service, must demonstrate sufficient facts to support the claim. And upon a petitioner's failure to do so, a default judgment may not be entered. [14]

AFFIDAVITS OF MILITARY STATUS SUBMITTED HEREIN

Cause for concern to this court, is that, in each of the thirty-one (31) affidavits of non-military status, submitted in support of each petitioners' application for the entry of a default judgment and issuance of a warrant of eviction, the affiant, Amjad Farhat, states [15] that on May 3, 2013, at:

[1]"6:05 PM I went to the premises at 750 Grand Concourse, Apt 1L, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Raphael L. Almonte..."
[2]"6:05 PM I went to the premises at 750 Grand Concourse, Apt 1L, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Raphael L. Almonte... [as to Maricela Navir co-respondent]..."
[3]"6:12 PM I went to the premises at 825 Gerard Avenue, Apt 4H, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Arnaldo Rodriguez..."
[4]"6:14 PM I went to the premises at 825 Gerard Avenue, Apt 4K, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Angel Noboa Tejeda..."
[5]"6:16 PM I went to the premises at 825 Gerard Avenue, Apt 2J, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Rosa M. Rivera..."
[6]"6:31 PM I went to the premises at 180 East 163 St, Apt 6A, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Joseph Marte..."
[7]"6:31 PM I went to the premises at 180 East 163 St, Apt 6A, Bronx, NY 10451 and had a conversation with Joseph Marte...[as to Yokaira ...

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