In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the New York State Courts have drastically changed the way that eviction proceedings are processed. These changes have been made more difficult as the Courts have been required to keep pace with the plethora of Executive Orders issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and laws which have been passed by the New York State legislature since the pandemic began in March 2020.
For instance, recently, by Executive Order 202.72 dated November 3, 2020, with respect to non-payment proceedings that were pending as of November 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo extended the time for a respondent (usually tenants) to interpose their answer to a verified petition from ten (10) days to sixty (60) days. This means that default judgments cannot be entered against respondents effectively until January 4, 2021.
Additionally, to commence an eviction proceeding, petitioners (usually the landlord) are now required to include a Notice to Respondent Tenant with the verified petition. The Notice to Respondent Tenant advises the tenant that during the COVID-19 Pandemic they may entitled to additional time to answer the verified petition. The Notice to Respondent Tenant differs depending on whether the case is commenced in one of the Boroughs of New York City or elsewhere in New York State. A landlord’s failure to serve the tenant with the Notice to Respondent Tenant may be fatal to an eviction proceeding, though the exact implication of failing to serve the Notice to Respondent Tenant remains to be seen as the Courts have not had an opportunity to address this issue.
Eviction procedures are changing rapidly during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and as such, the attorneys at Turek Roth Grossman LLP are available to answer any questions.