Landlord Can't Evict Domestic Violence Victim
LVT Number: #20985
Landlord sued to evict project-based Section 8 tenant for creating a nuisance and violating her lease after a stabbing incident at the building. Landlord claimed that the violent behavior between tenant and her boyfriend was a threat to the safety of other tenants. Tenant asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial. She claimed that she was a victim of domestic violence and that the Federal Violence Against Women Act barred landlord from terminating her tenancy.
The court ruled for tenant and dismissed the case. There was no question that police and EMS were called to the building after an incident between tenant and her boyfriend. The boyfriend claimed that tenant stabbed him, although tenant denied this. Tenant showed that there was a history of domestic violence. She had made three prior police complaints against the boyfriend and had obtained an order of protection against him. Landlord's property manager claimed that tenant allowed the boyfriend into the building even after she got the order of protection. But the property manager had no personal knowledge of whether this was true. Tenant claimed that he got into the building and forced his way into the apartment. And even if tenant had changed her mind and let him in, inconsistent behavior by a victim fits into a typical pattern of domestic violence.
Metro North Owners LLC v. Thorpe: NYLJ, 1/5/09, p. 20, col. 1 (Civ. Ct. NY; Liebowitz, J)