How to file in Housing Court 7

One way to learn more is not to hide your ignorance. — Fortune cookie from Grand Sichuan (15 Seventh Avenue South, NY, NY, tel 212-645-0222)

After my first visit to Housing Court on February 28, I returned home with a signed Consent form in which the landlord (in this case, Chaz Skush-O’Brien) had agreed to take care of all the serious (B) maintenance violations which had been certified by the HPD inspector in thirty days, i.e., by March 29, 2012.

My job? Well, to observe whether the repairs were made. And over the next few weeks, some young guys moved into the hallways with ladders and canvas and spackling and paint cans and did, indeed, repair and repaint the walls. The intercom was fixed and a carbon monoxide detector installed in my kitchen.

I did, as instructed, wait at home during those two mornings I’d agreed to be available for repairs. No one came to my place, though. And the ceiling damaged by a leak was not to be repaired, until I had it done myself weeks later. And paid for it myself. (And subsequently filed a suit in Small Claims Court, and got invitations from the People’s Court AND Judge Judy. To read all about that little branch adventure, search on Sidebar for Small Claims Court.)

Nevertheless, stuff got done. Mostly surface stuff, easy stuff, superficial stuff. But not everything had been taken care of.

So on March 30, the date I’d marked in my calendar for returning to Housing Court, I returned. I filled out and swore to an Affidavit in Support of an Order to Show Cause to Restore to the Calendar for a Compliance Hearing and for Assessment of Civil Penalties. On the Affidavit, under the sub-heading “Facts,” I listed the “violations/conditions [that] have not been corrected.” There were four, the most serious of which was “Sloping Floors on 2nd Floor.”

I received a printed out Order to Show Cause to Restore for Compliance and Assessment of Civil Penalties, with a date for appearance of April 10, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. Following instructions, I stuck a copy of this Order into an envelope and, with a cut-off date for service of April 3, made sure to take it immediately to the post office and send it certified mail to the lawyers for Chaz.

Then I went home, marked April 10 in my calendar and went back to my life. My other life. You know, the one without lawsuits.

 Next: Going back to Housing Court and appearing before the judge.

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