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Fiduciary Trust Co. International v. Mehta

Civ Ct, Ny County

August 15, 2013

FIDUCIARY TRUST COMPANY INTERNATIONAL, CO-EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF VIOLA SOMMER Petitioner-Landlord
v.
HIMANSHU MEHTA 425 East 58th Street, Apt 20B New York, New York, 10022 Respondent Index No. L&T 89852/2012

Unpublished Opinion

ROSENBERG & PITTINSKY, LLP Attorneys for Petitioner By: Laurence D Pittinsky, Esq.

FISCHMAN & FISCHMAN Attorneys for Respondent By: Doreen J. Fischman, Esq

DECISION & ORDER

Hon. Sabrina B. Kraus, JHC

BACKGROUND

This summary holdover proceeding was commenced by FIDUCIARY TRUST COMPANY INTERNATIONAL, CO-EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF VIOLA SOMMER (Petitioner) and sought to recover possession of Apartment 20B at 425 East 58thStreet, New York, New York, 10022 (Subject Premises), based on allegations that HIMANSHU MEHTA (Respondent) is a licensee who's right to occupancy has been terminated.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Petitioner issued a Notice to Quit dated October 15, 2012, which asserted that Respondent was the licencee of Prabhavati D Mehta (Tenant) who died on November 17, 2011, and that as a result of her death Respondent's license had been terminated or revoked. The notice further asserts that on October 12, 2012, the Public Administrator surrendered all right title and interest Tenant may have had in the Subject Premises to Petitioner. The petition is dated November 21, 2012, and the proceeding was originally returnable on December 20, 2012. The petition asserts that the Subject Premises are exempt from rent regulation because the Subject Premises is a cooperative unit and is not occupied by a "non-purchasing tenant" as defined under section 352-eeee of the General Business Law.

Respondent appeared through counsel and filed an answer and counterclaims dated January 30, 2013. On that date, the parties, through counsel entered into a stipulation of settlement. Pursuant to the stipulation Respondent withdrew his defenses and counterclaims and consented to entry of a final judgment of possession and forthwith issuance of the warrant. Respondent agreed to vacate by July 31, 2013, and to pay past due use and occupancy of $18, 975.00 for November 2012 through January 2013, by February 15, 2013. Use and occupancy for February through May 2013 was waived, and Respondent was to pay $6, 325 per month for June and July 2013. The stipulation included a "Time is of The Essence" provision for the vacate date.

There is some implication in the stipulation that Respondent is a hoarder. Paragraph (7) of the stipulation provides that "Respondent shall not place any of his property in the hallway or outside the door of the Apt & Respondent shall use his best efforts to cause the Apt to be cleaned & free & clear of all clutter."

Respondent timely made all payments required under the stipulation, but failed to vacate as required. Respondent's counsel now moves for an order appointing a guardian ad litem (GAL) for Respondent to help relocate Respondent. On August 13, 2013, the court heard argument and reserved decision. While Petitioner seeks relief in the opposition papers submitted, no cross motion for any relief has been filed.

DISCUSSION

Respondent does not seek to vacate the underlying stipulation of settlement. Respondent's counsel does not assert that her ability to represent her client and settle this litigation was in anyway impeded by an alleged disability of her client. Rather Respondent's counsel asserts only that Respondent is not prepared to comply with his obligation to vacate the Subject Premises, and that he has responded irrationally to her attempt to communicate with him about vacating.

It is asserted that Respondent has substantial means. Morever, Respondent's counsel makes no claim that Respondent has any right to ongoing possession of the Subject Premises nor any ...


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