ALBPC Releases Daughter, Mere Accommodation Signer on Lease, from Lease and Allows Her to Avoid Nonpayment Proceeding

By Dov Treiman

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An adult daughter had stopped living with her seriously ill mother many years ago. The mother, however, did not feel secure being the only signatory on her lease and kept insisting that her daughter sign the lease as well. The mother was living in the apartment with her rent paying roommates and her health aides, but was not paying the rent.

The daughter had no idea how bad things had gotten until a court appointed guardian for her mother informed her that there were eviction proceedings pending, eviction was soon, and there was a judgment not only against the mother, but against the daughter as well for unpaid rent.

The daughter contacted Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. with whom she had previously dealt. The firm’s research showed that the City wanted the mother to stay in place, but the mother and daughter were not going to come up with the rent money to make that happen and the landlord had no interest in letting the daughter off the hook for the judgment and the rest of the lease.

ALBPC then brought an Order to Show Cause to have the entire case thrown out both as to the mother and as to the daughter.  ALBPC argued that the doormen and others of the landlord’s staff knew that the daughter was at most an occasional visitor and did not actually live in the apartment, and therefore any effort to serve the daughter with process at the apartment was invalid.  ALBPC then went on to argue that since the daughter was never properly made a party to the case and because the daughter was a party to the lease, she had to be made a party to the case for the case to proceed; therefore the entire case had to be thrown out.

Faced with losing the case completely, the landlord agreed to let the daughter out of the case, release the daughter from the lease, and give the daughter a full release of all claims. ALBPC partner Dov Treiman drafted the winning motion and Christopher Halligan locked up the final deal as a result.

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