Case Study

Not Deterred by the COVID-19 Summary Proceeding Standstill, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Obtains Possession of a Luxury Home and Rent in a Post-Foreclosure Supreme Court Ejectment Action

The foreclosure buyer of a luxury home in Westchester County recently turned to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. for help. The closing took place in December of 2019. The owner sent eviction notices to the occupants; the notices long expired. Due to COVID-19, the owner could not effectively commence or prosecute a summary eviction proceeding. The occupants were not paying any use and occupancy, ignored all communication attempts, and refused to vacate the home. A motion for a writ of assistance was not viable because the current occupants were not named in the initial foreclosure action.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. contacted the local court, seeking permission to file a summary eviction proceeding. We were quickly told that the court is not accepting any filings. The owner was seemingly in a long holding pattern.

However, taking an aggressive approach, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. strategized and commenced a Supreme Court action, including causes of action for ejectment and use and occupancy. The occupants retained counsel and interposed an answer. Within days of receiving the answer, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. filed a motion seeking (i) summary judgment on the cause of action for ejectment, with the issuance of a writ of assistance, (ii) summary judgment on liability on the cause of action for use and occupancy, setting the matter for a determination on damages, and (iii) in the alternative, an order directing the occupants to pay rent.

Within days of our filing the motion, the occupants’ attorney contacted us with a settlement proposal. After negotiation, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. obtained for the owner an executed settlement agreement, which included: (i) an agreement by the occupants to vacate and surrender the home in less than forty-five days, (ii) an up-front payment of a significant portion of the claimed use and occupancy, (iii) a conditional judgment of possession secured by a signed stipulation, (iv) a conditional monetary judgment secured by a signed confession of judgment, and (v) immediate access into the home for an inspection for the owner’s agents.

Vladimir Mironenko, a partner in Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s Real Estate Litigation and Landlord-Tenant Groups, represented the owner. Joshua Filsoof assisted with the motion.

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