On May 17, 2012 I got a Default Order and Judgment (and $870 fine) against the Skush-O’Brien-controlled co-op board. They had failed to remedy a sloping floor violation, and had failed to show up in Housing Court on our court date. Which is the “Default” part.
On that same day, before I left the court, I asked the HPD lawyer when I should come back to restore the case to the court calendar. He suggested two weeks. What he meant was, I should give the Skush-O’Briens two weeks to indicate that the repairs were going to get done.
Two weeks later, the end of May, nothing was happening. Except in my life. I was very busy so it wasn’t until July 3 that I went back to the second floor of 111 Centre Street to get the case re-instated. This time, though, I did have to get on line and wait for a while. Maybe because it was the afternoon of the day before the Fourth of July?
There was a bit of confusion about what form I should fill out. Eventually, I was given an affidavit for a petition to restore the case. I filled it out, had my signature notarized and went upstairs to Housing Court. I waited for a while until Judge Wendt signed an Order to Show Cause to Restore for Compliance And Assessment of Civil Penalties, with a court date of July 13, at 9:30 am. I was given two copies; on the back side of one, the deputy scrawled in red ink two lines, with Xs, one labeled “HPD,” and the lower one labeled “Resp Atty.” The HPD lawyer signed the top line.
Since I knew that the “Resp Atty” had moved his office to the Woolworth Building (only a few blocks away), I decided to serve the thing myself. (Whenever you have a chance to get into the Woolworth Building, which no longer permits tourists to wander around marveling at its glories, you go.)
And I did serve the thing. And then we all said “Happy Fourth!” and I trotted home.
When I appeared on July 13, Larry was there, representing the co-op. He hadn’t seen the file until a day or so before, so I agreed to give him an extension of time. An official Stipulation form was produced, and Larry hand-wrote it out: “It is hereby stipulated and agreed that Petitioner’s [that’s me] Order to Show Cause, returnable [the court date] on July 13, 2012, is hereby adjourned [postponed] to August 3, 2012 or at a date convenient to the Court.”
It was my very first, personally signed Stipulation. Larry signed it, too, and the HPD lawyer signed it, and the deputy took the multipage form apart and gave me a yellow copy and all is good in this world.
That is that, until August 3.