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A landlord may commence a nonpayment or holdover proceeding. A nonpayment proceeding is one in which the landlord demands unpaid rent from the tenant. A holdover proceeding is one in which the landlord demands possession of the property. To commence a nonpayment or holdover proceeding, a landlord must file a Notice of Petition and Petition with the District Court Clerk and pay the required fee. The clerk will assign a return date for the petition and the landlord will have to serve the papers on the tenant and file an affidavit of service.
A tenant who receives a petition may answer either in writing or orally before the court. If the tenant is an individual with limited income and assets, he or she may qualify for a free attorney through the Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee, 1 Helen Keller Way, 5th Floor, Hempstead, New York, (516) 292-8100, www.nslawservices.org. A lawyer must represent a tenant that is a corporation.
On the return date of the petition, there are two calls of the calendar. A request for an adjournment must be submitted in writing or in person. If both parties appear, the court will direct the landlord and tenant to discuss the matter to attempt a resolution. If neither the landlord nor the tenant has a lawyer, the court will generally direct the litigants to mediate the issue before an independent officer of the court. The judge may also conduct a conference to resolve the dispute. If the landlord does not appear and answer the second calendar call, the court will usually dismiss the petition. If the tenant does not appear and answer the second calendar call, upon application the judge may grant a Judgment of Possession and Warrant of Eviction. The judge may also grant a money judgment against the tenant.
If the landlord and tenant are unable to resolve their dispute, the judge may direct the parties to appear at trial. At trial, the landlord must prove the allegations set forth in the petition. The tenant has the right to examine the landlord and interpose a defense.
If a court grants a Judgment of Possession and Warrant of Eviction, the landlord must prepare and submit the required forms. The forms may be obtainted from the District Court Clerk’s office, or online at www.nycourts.gov/courts/10jd/nassau/lt.shtml. The District Court Clerk requires an original and copy of the proposed Judgment of Possession and Warrant of Eviction together with a self-addressed stamped envelope.
The eviction is conducted by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, New York, (516) 571-2150. A landlord is required to file with the sheriff the original Warrant of Eviction, an original signed certification form (obtained from the sheriff), proof of payment from a moving and storage company licensed and operating in Nassau County, and the required fee.
The information provided by the Nassau County Bar Association is not meant to serve as specific legal advice for a particular situation or as a substitute for consultation with a lawyer. If you require the services of a lawyer, you may call the Nassau County Lawyer Referral Service at (516) 747-4832, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.nassaubar.org.