Handwritten Notes Aren't Valid Settlement Agreement
LVT Number: 18101
Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant. Landlord and tenant signed a settlement agreement. Tenant later asked the court to vacate the agreement. The supposed agreement was in the form of handwritten notes on the back of the notice of petition, without the signature of landlord or tenant, but initialed by the judge. The notes stated only that tenant's share of the $243 rent is waived from January through April, and that landlord would accept the Section 8 portion of rental payment. The court ruled for tenant, and landlord appealed. Court: Tenant wins. The agreement was unenforceable. There was no order entered by the court stating the terms of any agreement, and it wasn't an agreement made by attorneys in court. There was no evidence that the terms of the agreement were recorded stenographically or entered into the court's minute book. The notes also didn't indicate that in return for landlord's rent waiver, landlord was to get possession of the apartment.
Berkeley Realty v. Hicks: NYLJ, 4/18/05, p. 40, col. 4 (App. T. 2 Dept.; Rudolph, PJ, Angiolillo, Covello, JJ)