Court Finds Landlord and Tenant Agreed to Vacate Money Judgment in 2010
LVT Number: #31538
Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent in 2010. The parties signed a settlement agreement that was approved by the court, giving landlord a judgment in the amount of $11,808 for all rent due through August 2010. An eviction warrant was issued forthwith, with execution delayed through Sep. 30, 2010. Tenant then moved out and, in October 2010, asked the court to vacate the settlement stipulation.
When they appeared back in court, landlord and tenant signed a stipulation of discontinuance acknowledging that tenant had moved out, and stating that landlord reserved rights to $11,221 owed through September 2010. An order was prepared for the judge's signature but was never signed, although there was a notation on the order form that the motion was granted pursuant to the parties' stipulation, and the case was discontinued.
Nothing happened after that until June 2021, when tenant asked the court to vacate the 2010 judgment. Tenant claimed that she had now received a marshall's order and her wages were being garnished. She also claimed that the judge had vacated the judgment in 2010 and that she had paid any arrears in full. At the time of the garnishment, landlord was seeking to collect $25,000, including interest. Landlord argued that tenant consented to the entry of the judgment in 2010 when she signed the court stipulation, and that she also sent landlord letters in 2010 and 2011 seeking to make a payment plan. Landlord also argued that tenant waited too long to seek to vacate the judgment.
The court ruled for tenant. While it was unclear why the prior judge failed to sign any order in 2010 after the second settlement stipulation was signed, it was clear that the parties intended to vacate the judgment because landlord stated in the settlement stipulation that it reserved its rights to seek the back rent due. The only interpretation of the parties' stipulation of discontinuance in 2010 that made sense was that the parties intended for the judgment to be vacated. The 2010 judgment was vacated, and the court lifted all liens, executions, and restraints that followed.
78/79 York Assocs. v. Radetsky: 59414/10, 2021 NY Slip Op 50609(U), NYLJ No. 1625430125 (Civ. Ct. NY; 6/29/21; Kraus, J)