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A00631 Summary:

Relates to enacting the Rochester housing court act, establishing a housing part of the city court of Rochester.
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A00631 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 9, 2019
        Introduced  by M. of A. BRONSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Judiciary
        AN ACT in relation to enacting the Rochester housing court act
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "Rochester housing court act".
     3    § 2. Definitions. As used in this act  unless  the  context  otherwise
     4  requires,  the following words and terms shall have the meaning ascribed
     5  to them:
     6    (a) "Housing codes" means all state and local laws for the  establish-
     7  ment  and maintenance of housing standards, including but not limited to
     8  the multiple dwelling law, real property law, real property actions  and
     9  proceedings  law,  real  property  tax law, and the housing and property
    10  code, building code, zoning ordinance,  and  fire  prevention  code  and
    11  related ordinances of the city of Rochester.
    12    (b) "City" means the city of Rochester.
    13    §  3.  Actions  and  proceedings  permitted. Notwithstanding any other
    14  provision of law, a separate part of the city court of  Rochester  shall
    15  be exclusively devoted to actions and proceedings involving the enforce-
    16  ment  of  all  housing  codes,  pertaining to all real property situated
    17  within the city as follows:
    18    (a) Actions for the imposition and collection of  criminal  penalties,
    19  and  for  the  imposition  and  collection  of  civil penalties, for the
    20  violation of any state or local laws  involving  the  establishment  and
    21  maintenance of housing standards.
    22    (b)  Actions  for  the collection of costs, expenses and disbursements
    23  incurred by the city of Rochester in the elimination or correction of  a
    24  nuisance  or  other  violation  of  any  of the housing codes, or in the
    25  removal or demolition of any dwelling pursuant to such housing codes.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 631                              2
     1    (c) Actions and proceedings  for  the  establishment,  enforcement  or
     2  foreclosure of liens upon real property and upon the rents therefrom for
     3  civil  penalties,  or  for costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by
     4  the city in the  elimination  or  correction  of  a  nuisance  or  other
     5  violation of any of the housing codes or in the removal or demolition of
     6  any building pursuant to such housing codes.
     7    (d) Proceedings for the issuance of injunctions and restraining orders
     8  or  other  orders for the enforcements of housing standards under any of
     9  the housing codes.
    10    (e) All summary proceedings to recover possession of residential prem-
    11  ises to remove tenants therefrom, and to render judgment for  rent  due,
    12  in  which  a tenant alleges a defense under section seven hundred fifty-
    13  five of the real property actions and proceedings law, relating to  stay
    14  or  proceedings or action for rent upon failure to make repairs, section
    15  three hundred two-a of the multiple dwelling law, relating to the abate-
    16  ment of rent in case of certain violations of  any  housing  codes,  and
    17  section  two hundred thirty-five-b of the real property law, relating to
    18  a landlord's duty to maintain  habitable  premises,  or  any  other  law
    19  involving  housing code enforcement. The administrative judge of Roches-
    20  ter city court may, in his or her discretion, empower the  housing  part
    21  to  hear  all  summary  proceedings to recover possession of residential
    22  premises, regardless of whether a tenant alleges a defense, at any  time
    23  when  he  or she feels that housing part is capable of handling all such
    24  summary proceedings.
    25    (f) Proceedings for the appointment of a receiver of rents, issues and
    26  profits of buildings in order to remove or remedy a nuisance or to  make
    27  repairs required to be made under such housing codes.
    28    (g)  Actions  and  proceedings  for  the removal of housing violations
    29  recorded pursuant to such housing codes, or for the imposition  of  such
    30  violation or for the stay of any penalty thereunder.
    31    (h)  Special proceedings to vest title in the city to abandoned multi-
    32  ple dwellings and one and two-unit structures.
    33    § 4. Consolidation. On the application of  any  city  department,  any
    34  party or on its own motion, the housing part shall, unless good cause is
    35  shown  to  the contrary, consolidate all actions and proceedings pending
    36  in such part as to any building.
    37    § 5. Relief permitted. Regardless of the relief originally sought by a
    38  party, the court may recommend or employ any remedy, program,  procedure
    39  or  sanction authorized by law for the enforcement of housing standards,
    40  if it believes they will be more effective to accomplish  compliance  or
    41  to  protect  and  promote the public interest; provided in the event any
    42  such proposed remedy, program or procedure entails  the  expenditure  of
    43  moneys  appropriated  by  the  city,  other than for the utilization and
    44  deployment of personnel and services incidental thereto, the court shall
    45  give notice of such proposed remedy, program or procedure  to  the  city
    46  department  charged with the enforcement of local laws relating to hous-
    47  ing maintenance and shall not employ such proposed  remedy,  program  or
    48  procedure, as the case may be, if such department shall advise the court
    49  in  writing  within the time fixed by the court, which shall not be less
    50  than fifteen days after such notice has been given, of the reasons  such
    51  order  should  not  be  issued,  which  advice  shall become part of the
    52  record. The court may retain continuing jurisdiction of  any  action  or
    53  proceeding  relating to a building until all violations of law have been
    54  removed.
    55    § 6. Joinder. In any  of  the  actions  or  proceedings  specified  in
    56  section  three of this act and on the application of any party, any city

        A. 631                              3
     1  department or the court, on its own motion, may join any other person or
     2  city department as a party in order to effectuate proper housing mainte-
     3  nance standards and to promote the public interest.
     4    §  7.  Judge;  rules  of  evidence. Actions and proceedings before the
     5  housing part shall be tried before the housing part judge, who shall  be
     6  assigned  to  the  housing  part by the administrative judge of the city
     7  court. Rules of evidence shall be applicable in actions and  proceedings
     8  before the housing part.
     9    §  8. Advisory council; appointment. An advisory council for the hous-
    10  ing part shall be established, and it shall be composed of  two  members
    11  representative  of  each  of  the following:   the real estate industry,
    12  tenants' organizations, civic groups, bar  associations,  the  Rochester
    13  housing  committee  and  four  members  from  the  public at-large. Such
    14  members shall be appointed by  the  administrative  judge  of  the  city
    15  court, with the approval of the presiding justices of the fourth depart-
    16  ment.  The  members  of  the  advisory  council shall be appointed for a
    17  renewable term of three years provided that one of the  initial  members
    18  of  each  classification  of  membership shall serve for two years, such
    19  classes to be determined by the administrative judge. In  addition,  the
    20  mayor  of  the  city and the city official in charge of housing programs
    21  shall each appoint one member to serve at their pleasure.
    22    § 9. Advisory council; reports. The advisory  council  shall  meet  at
    23  least  four  times  a year, and on such additional occasions as they may
    24  require or as may be required by the administrative judge. Members shall
    25  receive no compensation. Members shall visit housing part from  time  to
    26  time  to  review  the  manner in which the part is functioning, and make
    27  recommendations to the administrative judge and to the advisory council.
    28  A report on the work of the court shall be prepared annually and submit-
    29  ted to the administrative judge, the administrative board of  the  judi-
    30  cial  conference,  the  majority  and minority leaders of the senate and
    31  assembly, the governor and the mayor of the  city,  by  January  thirty-
    32  first of each year.
    33    § 10. Cross-index. The clerk of the court shall maintain a cross-index
    34  of  the  names  of all owners against which any action or proceeding has
    35  been brought under section three of this act. The clerk shall also main-
    36  tain a cross-index  number  system  indicating  by  street  address  all
    37  actions and proceedings brought under such section.
    38    §  11.  Corporation. A corporation which is a party may be represented
    39  by an officer, director or a principal stockholder.
    40    § 12. Service of summons. Where the manner of service  prescribed  for
    41  actions  and  proceedings in this court includes delivery of the summons
    42  to a person at the actual place of business of the person to be  served,
    43  such  delivery may be made alternatively to a person of suitable age and
    44  discretion at the address registered with the  department  charged  with
    45  the  enforcement  of local laws relating to housing maintenance, herein-
    46  after referred to as the  "registered  address".  Where  the  manner  of
    47  service  prescribed  for  actions and proceedings in this court includes
    48  affixing the summons to the door of the actual place of business of  the
    49  person  to be served, the summons may, as an alternative, be posted in a
    50  conspicuous place on the premises specified in the  summons.  Where  the
    51  manner  of  service  for  actions  or proceedings in this court includes
    52  mailing the summons to the person to be served at his or her last  known
    53  residence,  the  summons may, as an alternative, be mailed to the regis-
    54  tered address.  A copy of the summons with proof  of  service  shall  be
    55  filed in the manner provided in section four hundred nine of the uniform

        A. 631                              4
     1  city  court act, except that such filing shall be made with the clerk of
     2  housing part.
     3    §  13.  Jury  trial.  Nothing  contained  in this act shall in any way
     4  affect the right of any party to trial by jury as heretofore provided by
     5  law.
     6    § 14. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day  after  it  shall
     7  have  become a law.  Effective immediately, the office of court adminis-
     8  tration shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the  imple-
     9  mentation of this act on its effective date.
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