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A01131 Summary:

COSPNSRClark, Meeks, Lunsford
Enacts the Rochester housing court act to create a separate part of the court to be exclusively devoted to actions and proceedings involving the enforcement of all housing codes, pertaining to all real property situated within the city; makes related provisions.
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A01131 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 7, 2021
        Introduced  by M. of A. BRONSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Judiciary -- reported and referred to the Committee on Ways and
          Means -- committee discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as
          amended and recommitted to said committee
        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 residence 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
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 1131--A                          2
     1  nuisance  or  other  violation  of  any  of the housing codes, or in the
     2  removal or demolition of any dwelling pursuant to such housing codes.
     3    (c)  Actions  and  proceedings  for  the establishment, enforcement or
     4  foreclosure of liens upon real property and upon the rents therefrom for
     5  civil penalties, or for costs, expenses and  disbursements  incurred  by
     6  the  city  in  the  elimination  or  correction  of  a nuisance or other
     7  violation of any of the housing codes or in the removal or demolition of
     8  any building pursuant to such housing codes.
     9    (d) Proceedings for the issuance of injunctions and restraining orders
    10  or other orders for the enforcements of housing standards under  any  of
    11  the housing codes.
    12    (e) All summary proceedings to recover possession of residential prem-
    13  ises  to  remove tenants therefrom, and to render judgment for rent due,
    14  in which a tenant alleges a defense under section seven  hundred  fifty-
    15  five  of the real property actions and proceedings law, relating to stay
    16  or proceedings or action for rent upon failure to make repairs,  section
    17  three  hundred  five-a  of  the  multiple residence law, relating to the
    18  abatement of rent in case of certain violations of  any  housing  codes,
    19  and section two hundred thirty-five-b of the real property law, relating
    20  to  a  landlord's  duty to maintain habitable premises, or any other law
    21  involving housing code enforcement. The administrative judge of  Roches-
    22  ter  city  court may, in his or her discretion, empower the housing part
    23  to hear all summary proceedings to  recover  possession  of  residential
    24  premises,  regardless of whether a tenant alleges a defense, at any time
    25  when he or she feels that housing part is capable of handling  all  such
    26  summary proceedings.
    27    (f) Proceedings for the appointment of a receiver of rents, issues and
    28  profits  of buildings in order to remove or remedy a nuisance or to make
    29  repairs required to be made under such housing codes.
    30    (g) Actions and proceedings for  the  removal  of  housing  violations
    31  recorded  pursuant  to such housing codes, or for the imposition of such
    32  violation or for the stay of any penalty thereunder.
    33    (h) Special proceedings to convey  title  in  the  city  to  abandoned
    34  dwellings  pursuant  to  article  19-A  of the real property actions and
    35  proceedings law.
    36    (i) Civil cases pursuant to section seven hundred sixty-eight  of  the
    37  real property actions and proceedings law.
    38    Nothing  in this section shall limit in any manner the jurisdiction or
    39  authority of the municipal code violations bureau of the city of Roches-
    40  ter as set forth in chapter 13A of the municipal code  of  the  city  of
    41  Rochester.
    42    §  4.  Consolidation.  On  the application of any city department, any
    43  party or on its own motion, the housing part shall, unless good cause is
    44  shown to the contrary, consolidate all actions and  proceedings  pending
    45  in such part as to any building.
    46    § 5. Relief permitted. Regardless of the relief originally sought by a
    47  party,  the court may recommend or employ any remedy, program, procedure
    48  or sanction authorized by law for the enforcement of housing  standards,
    49  if  it  believes they will be more effective to accomplish compliance or
    50  to protect and promote the public interest; provided in  the  event  any
    51  such  proposed  remedy  would  require  an expenditure by the city, such
    52  remedy shall be subject to appropriation by city council and  shall  not
    53  bind  the  city  absent  such appropriation. Any expenditure made by the
    54  city shall be incorporated by the court into any  judgment  rendered  in
    55  the proceeding and shall be enforceable against the property owner.

        A. 1131--A                          3
     1    §  6.  Joinder.  In  any  of  the  actions or proceedings specified in
     2  section three of this act and on the application of any party, any  city
     3  department or the court, on its own motion, may join any other person or
     4  city department as a party in order to effectuate proper housing mainte-
     5  nance standards and to promote the public interest.
     6    §  7.  Judge;  rules  of  evidence. Actions and proceedings before the
     7  housing part shall be tried before the housing part judge, who shall  be
     8  assigned  to  the  housing  part by the administrative judge of the city
     9  court. Rules of evidence shall be applicable in actions and  proceedings
    10  before the housing part.
    11    §  8. Advisory council; appointment. An advisory council for the hous-
    12  ing part shall be established, and it shall be composed of  two  members
    13  representative  of  each  of  the following:   the real estate industry,
    14  tenants' organizations, landlords' organizations,  civil  legal  service
    15  providers, and the city of Rochester. Such members shall be appointed by
    16  the  administrative  judge  of  the city court, with the approval of the
    17  presiding justices of the fourth department. The members of the advisory
    18  council shall be appointed for a renewable term of three years  provided
    19  that  one  of  the  initial members of each classification of membership
    20  shall serve for two years, such classes to be determined by the adminis-
    21  trative judge. In addition, the mayor of the city and the city  official
    22  in  charge of housing programs shall each appoint one member to serve at
    23  their pleasure.
    24    § 9. Advisory council; reports. The advisory  council  shall  meet  at
    25  least  four  times  a year, and on such additional occasions as they may
    26  require or as may be required by the administrative judge. Members shall
    27  receive no compensation. Members shall visit housing part from  time  to
    28  time  to  review  the  manner in which the part is functioning, and make
    29  recommendations to the administrative judge and to the advisory council.
    30  A report on the work of the court shall be prepared annually and submit-
    31  ted to the administrative judge, the administrative board of  the  judi-
    32  cial  conference,  the  majority  and minority leaders of the senate and
    33  assembly, the governor and the mayor of the  city,  by  January  thirty-
    34  first of each year.
    35    § 10. Cross-index. The clerk of the court shall maintain a cross-index
    36  of  the  names  of all owners against which any action or proceeding has
    37  been brought under section three of this act. The clerk shall also main-
    38  tain a cross-index  number  system  indicating  by  street  address  all
    39  actions and proceedings brought under such section.
    40    §  11.  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. 1131--A                          4

     1  city court act, except that such filing shall be made with the clerk  of
     2  housing part.
     3    §  12.  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    § 13. 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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