Limited Pretrial Questioning Allowed in Illegal Sublet Case
LVT Number: #20997
Landlord sued to evict rent-stabilized tenant, claiming illegal sublet. Landlord asked the court for permission to conduct pretrial questioning. Tenant, in turn, asked the court to dismiss the case. Tenant claimed that landlord couldn't claim that tenant illegally sublet to an immediate family member. The court ruled that it was too early to dismiss the case without discovery of more facts. However, pretrial questioning is not a presumed standard practice in an illegal sublet case unless landlord needs to identify the apartment occupant or get more information about the occupant's relationship with tenant. Landlord's document request to tenant also was too broad and sought information more about primary residence than illegal subletting. Landlord could resubmit a narrower document request. And, while landlord could conduct pretrial questioning, this should wait until the requested documents were produced.
226-228 E. 26th St. LLC v. Rhodes: NYLJ, 1/15/09, p. 26, col. 1 (Civ. Ct. NY; Elsner, J)