Bill S55-2011

Permits New York city department of social services to participate in proceedings in housing part of civil court

Authorizes the housing part of the civil court of the city of New York on its own motion or on the motion of a party to join the department of social services of the city of New York as a party in any action or proceeding wherein the failure of a recipient of or applicant for public assistance to pay rent is at issue; also permits the court to join the division of adult protective services of the city of New York, where appropriate.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S55

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city civil court act, in relation to the participation of the department of social services of the city of New York in certain actions and proceedings in the housing part of such court

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would enable the court to carry out its mandate of resolving a landlord/tenant dispute in cases where a tenant being sued for nonpayment of rent, claims that he cannot pay because of denial of welfare benefits, failure to replace a lost or stolen check, or other action or inaction on the part of the department of social services.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends section 110 of the New York city civil court act, which provides for the joiner in cases in the housing part of civil court of additional parties, including city departments. The section as amended, specifically authorizes the court to bring in the department of social services on request of any party or on its own initiative, when public assistance payments to a tenant are at issue in a case.

JUSTIFICATION: Many tenants sued for nonpayment of rent in housing court, are welfare recipients in situations which the dispute actually involves three parties: landlord, tenant, and the department of social services. Welfare recipients seeking to replace a missing rent check are sometimes told by social service employees that a duplicate check can only be issued if the tenant faces imminent eviction; that is, if the landlord has already won his case in court. Besides imposing a hardship on the tenant, this procedure needlessly complicates the role of both parties as well as the court and the department. The housing court act, designed to set up a system to achieve a complete resolution of the cases before it, authorized the court to bring in city agencies as needed. Despite this provision, the courts are divided as to the power to implead the department of social services in cases in which it is involved. This bill would make it clear that such power exists.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2007: A.666 2006: A.9369 2005: A.751 2009: S.5297 - Third Reading, Rules, A.1494 - Third Reading Cal. 18 2010: S.5297 - Judiciary, A.1494 - Third Reading Cal. 657

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, and shall govern any action or proceeding pending in the housing part on the effective date of this act, as well as actions and proceedings instituted thereafter.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 55 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. SQUADRON, DIAZ, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOM- ERY, SERRANO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the New York city civil court act, in relation to the participation of the department of social services of the city of New York in certain actions and proceedings in the housing part of such court THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision (d) of section 110 of the New York city civil court act, as added by chapter 982 of the laws of 1972, is amended to read as follows: (d) In any of the actions or proceedings specified in subdivision (a) and on the application of any party, any city department or the court, on its own motion, may join any other person or city department as a party in order to effectuate proper housing maintenance standards and to promote the public interest. IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER APPLICATION OF ITS POWERS UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION, THE COURT MAY, ON THE APPLICATION OF ANY PARTY OR ON ITS OWN MOTION, JOIN AS A PARTY THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN ANY ACTION OR PROCEEDING IN WHICH THE PAYMENT OR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT BY A RECIPIENT OF OR APPLICANT FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PURSUANT TO THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW IS AT ISSUE, AND THE COURT MAY JOIN AS A PARTY THE DIVISION OF ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN ANY SUCH ACTION OR PROCEEDING, WHERE APPRO- PRIATE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately, and shall govern any action or proceeding pending in the housing part on the effective date of this act, as well as actions and proceedings instituted thereafter.

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