Public comments for: Establishment of Trials Division and Hearings Division

Comments

Comment:
The proposed amendments to the OATH rules are oblique and we do not understand their intent. However, we represent many tenants who appear before Oath on Loft Law coverage applications which end with reports and recommendations to the Loft Board. There appears to be a present policy against motions for summary judgement. We believe that many motions for summary judgment concerning residential occupancy issues for Loft Law tenants, if not a greater scope than that, are completely proper and should be decided by Oath on the merits. Specifically, when a tenant presents a prima facie Loft Law coverage case by means of documents and an affidavit, the landlord should be required to oppose with competent and specific evidence. If the landlord provides no evidence specific to the unit and tenant, the motion must be granted. That is the way such matters and issues work in other courts. We have been involved in coverage hearings where failure to follow this general rule ends up in unfair treatment of tenants and financially burdens them. I have spoken with other tenant attorneys who appear at OATH regularly, and they seem to agree with this as well. Margaret B. Sandercock, Esq. Goodfarb & Sandercock, LLP
Agency: OATH/ECB