Lifton Introduces Eviction Database Bill

August 12, 2020

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125th AD) announced today that she’s introduced a bill in the Assembly to establish a searchable database providing information about eviction proceedings in the state.

“Tens of thousands of evictions occur every year in New York State, but there is no easy, centralized way to access those records, and information is often scant at the municipal level, at any rate. Understanding trends in eviction rates – where, why, and when evictions are happening – community by community, may help us prevent some evictions by shedding useful light on this important issue and, ultimately, I hope, keep more people in their homes and businesses,” said Lifton.

The legislation requires the database to include: the court index number, the docket number and the date the action was filed, whether the tenant had legal representation, whether an eviction has been ordered and on what date it was ordered, the reason for the eviction and nonpayment amount owed (if any), the name and address of the landlord, whether the property is commercial or residential, and the zip code of the property.

"I'm very pleased to see Assemblywoman Lifton introducing this important bill that will result in publicly-available data on rental housing and the reasons for, and circumstances around eviction proceedings. As I tried to do research on evictions in Tompkins County over the past couple of years in order to better understand what was happening to renters, I found there was often a dearth of useful information and it varied considerably from municipality to municipality. This bill, should it become law, will allow for a much clearer picture of evictions, where and why they're happening, and, I hope, enable advocates to bring appropriate remedies to bear on the problem and help prevent many more evictions, which are so disruptive of people's lives," said Carl Feuer, founder and board member of the Robin Fund, a local charity.

If this bill becomes law, the Office of the NYS Inspector General would establish and maintain the database on their website for public access using records from local courts across the state.