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FISHMAN ROZEN, LLP

WARNING: 0Rt6tf\lÄ[
YOUR FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT MAY RESULT IN YOUR
IMMEDIATE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT FOR CIVIL AND/OR
CRIMINAL CONTEMPT OF COURT.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS HEARING IS TO PUNISH YOU FOR CIVIL


AND/OR CRIMINAL CONTEMPT OF COURT AND SUCH PUNISHMENT
MAY CONSIST OF A FINE OR IMPRISONMENT OR BOTH, ACCORDING
TO LAW.

CIVIL COURT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK lndex No. HP 06025118


COUNTY OF NEW YOR K,H OUSING PART B
BRYN ROEDER, AILEE N MCDERMOTT,
BRIDGET BEATTY, ERI N MULLANE,
ALEXANDRA CLEARY, CHRISTINE LAMONICA,
CRYSTAL TRAN, SILVANA JAKICH, ORDER TO SHOW
ELIZABETH NICHOLS , ANDRUS NICHOLS, CAUSE
BRYAN BUNZEL, J OHN BROWN, THOMAS
CONWAY and TOR EY COLE,

petitionerl.s,

-against-

STEVEN CROMAN, 93OO REALTY


The Building located
Yl!!ågFtvtENr, tNc, 200 srANroN LLC, and at:
JEFFREY MAGNO,
141 Ridge Street, New
York, NY i0002
Respondents-Landlord, and
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT
PRESERVAïoN OF HOUSING
a¡¡o orüËIöp ñerur,

ent.

t t.,
UPON READING /-i )
AND FILING the an i-'
nexed affirmation of r

Muy 2g, ZOrfrtn. Jennifer Rozen, dated


affidavit of Sitvana
Jakich ,,sryo¡n to. on.May
i{Ïhi:ii;i.} tì'i' ibits
'jCiìi;:Ëì,r r¡ -*..
attached, and all papers and proceedings had hereín,
/â ,@
LET the parties show cause before ," on _ J, .tnt- # .2 018 at 9:30 a.m. or
as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard,
at a motion term of this Court to be held ín
Housing Part B, Room 1 166, 1 1 1 centre street,
New york, New york, 10013, wHy an
order should not be made:

(a) pursuant to Judiciary Law


ss 750(AX3) and 753(AX3), hordíng Respondents,
its principals, officers, and/or agents, in civil andlor criminal contempt of Court
for their willful, knowíng, and contumacious
failure and refusal to comply with the
So Ordered March 16,201g Order;

(b) pursuant to Judiciary Law


ss 751 and 773, imposíng ail appropriate and
necessary sanctions upon the Respondents;

(c) pursuant to Judiciary Law 7'23, issuing


s an award of attorney,s fees against
the Respondents; and

(e) granting such other rerief as may be just, rt is furlher

olqs"åZiiflW¿jr:f, ,|"ä¡ sea p g , service by overnight mail


ot a copy of rhis Ordi:i, wiíñ iñe-fiá6-e rs upo wh
was granted, to the respondents
through its counsel, on or before f" I t 2018, is deemed sufficient.

ENTE 201 I

J.H.C
TO Clerk of Court
New York City Housing Court
111 Centre Street, Roóm 22S
New York, Ny 10007
CIVIL COURT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK Index No. HP 06025/18
COUNTY OF NEW YORK, HOUSING PART B
BRYN ROEDER, AILEEN MCDERMOTT,
BRIDGET BEATTY, ERIN MULLANE,
ALEXANDRA CLEARY, CHRISTINE LAMONICA,
CRYSTAL TRAN, SILVANA JAKICH,
ELIZABETH NICHOLS, ANDRUS NICHOLS,
BRYAN BUNZEL, JOHN BROWN, THOMAS
CONWAY and TOREY COLE,

AFFIRMATION
Petitioners,

-against-

STEVEN CROMAN, 9300 REALTY The Building located


MANAGEMENT, INC, 200 STANTON LLC, and at:
JEFFREY MAGNO, 141 Ridge Street, New
York, NY 10002
Respondents-Landlord, and

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING


PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT,

Respondent.

JENNIFER A. ROZEN, an attorney duly admitted to practice before the

courts of the State of New York, affirms the truth of the following under the

penalties of perjury:

1. I am a member of Fishman Rozen, LLP, the attorneys for the Petitioners

listed above. I am fully familiar with the facts and circumstances set forth

herein.

2. This affirmation in offered in support of to the Petitioners’ motion for an

order:
(a) pursuant to Judiciary Law §§ 750(A)(3) and 753(A)(3), holding

Respondents, its principals, officers, and/or agents, in Civil and/or Criminal

contempt of Court for their willful, knowing, and contumacious failure and

refusal to comply with the So Ordered March 16, 2018 Order;

(b) pursuant to Judiciary Law §§ 751 and 773, imposing all appropriate and

necessary sanctions upon the Respondents;

(c) pursuant to Judiciary Law § 773, issuing an award of attorney’s fees

against the Respondents; and

(d) granting such other relief as may be just.

3. Petitioners filed the instant HP action pro se on January 30, 2018 because

they had been without cooking gas since September 18, 2017. (Attached

as Exhibit A)

4. Respondents-Landlord appeared through counsel and served an Answer

on or about February 28, 2018. (Exhibit B)

5. On or about March 16, 2018 the parties entered into an Order requiring

Respondents-Landlord to restore cooking gas to the subject apartments on

or before May 16. (Attached as Exhibit C) (Hereinafter the “Order”)

Respondents-Landlord have failed and refused to restore the gas and

Petitioners remain without cooking gas.

6. Prior to, and after, the commencement of this proceeding, New York City

Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) conducted


numerous inspection of the subject building. To date, there are 40 open

violations for the subject building, 1 Class A, 4 Class B, and 35 Class C.

7. As per the paragraph 3 of the Order, the Respondent-Landlords were

required to restore gas on or before May 16, 2018.

8. To date, the entire subject building continues to be without gas and

Respondents-Landlord continue to be cited for Class C violations by HPD

for its failure to restore the gas. (See Exhibit D)

9. At no time did any of the Petitioners refuse or fail to provide access to their

apartments for the purpose of restoring gas to the units and there has been

no claim made by the Respondents-Landlord and/or their attorneys

otherwise.

10. Furthermore, the Respondents-Landlord continue to flagrantly disregard

the law to the detriment of Petitioner. They have incurred violations from

the Department of Buildings for work done without permits, specifically for

installing gas piping without a permit on October 20, 2017. (Exhibit E)

While this violation has been resolved, it is evident that the Respondents

have not made a good faith effort to actually restore gas in the subject

building. Permits are required by the Department of Buildings to ensure

work is done in a safe and appropriate manner. Respondents-Landlord

clearly conducted work in the subject building without permits and with little

thought to the safety of the Petitioners and other tenants in the building.
11. Petitioners also made complaints to the Department of Buildings for

plumbing work being done without permits on February 8, 2018. (Exhibit F)

The DOB inspector visited the subject building on March 7, 2018 and

March 13, 2018. On both occasions the inspector was denied access to the

subject building by the Respondents-Landlord. Most notably on March 7,

2018 the DOB inspector’s notes state that he was, “denied access by porter

left notice to call for inspection.”

12. In addition, there are significantly more violations on record with HPD now,

even after the Petitioners filed this proceeding. It is clear that Respondents-

Landlord have blatantly disregarded their obligations under the Order and

under the Housing Maintenance Code. Meanwhile, the Petitioners continue

to suffer as they have lacked cooking gas for over eight months.

13. Respondent-Landlords only requested access to the Petitioner’s

apartments on two occasions to restore the gas. First on November 7,

2017, and second, on January 3, 2018. (Exhibit G) Both dates were for

ConEdison to conduct inspections. Respondents-Landlord have not

requested access of any Petitioners since January. However, in

correspondence between Petitioner Alex Cleary and Ziad Ekwaneen, a

Customer Project Manager for ConEdison, Mr.Ekwaneen states that there

was a final gas inspection on or about January 8, 2018 , that the Petitioner

passed, and that new gas meters were ordered. The work was to be

completed that week or the next. (Exhibit H). Yet, inexplicably, the
Respondents-Landlord have refused to take active measures to restore gas

to the subject building, depriving Petitioners of an essential service.

14. Judiciary Law § 753(A)(3) provides for a finding of civil contempt as

follows:

A court of record has power to punish, by fine and imprisonment, or


either, a neglect or violation of duty, or other misconduct, by which a
right of remedy of a party to a civil action or special proceeding,
pending in the court may be defeated, impaired, impeded, or
prejudiced, in any of the following cases:

A party to the action or special proceeding, an attorney,


counselor, or other person ... for any . . . disobedience to a
lawful mandate of the court.

15. Judiciary Law § 750 provides for a finding of criminal contempt as

follows:

A court of record has power to punish for a criminal contempt,


a person guilty of any of the following acts, and no others:
Willful disobedience to its lawful mandate.

16. To be held in civil or criminal contempt, it must be proved that a

“lawful order of the court clearly expressing an unequivocal mandate” was

in effect; that the order was violated; and that the contemnor had actual

knowledge of the order. Department of Environmental Conservation of the

City of New York v. Department of Environmental Conservation of the

State of New York, 70 NY2d 233 at 240, 519 NYS2d 539 at 542 (1987)

(hereinafter “DEC of NYC v. DEC of NYS”).

17. To sustain a finding of civil contempt, the court must find that the

rights of a party to the litigation have been prejudiced. No such finding is


necessary for a finding of criminal contempt because the sole aim in a

criminal contempt proceeding is to punish the wrongdoer for disobeying a

court order (DEC of NYC v. DEC of NYS, 70 NY2d at 239, 519 NYS2d at

542) and thereby compel respect for its mandates (McCormick v. Axelrod,

59 NY2d 574 at 583, 466 NYS2d 279 at 283, amended on other grounds,

60 NY2d 652, 467 NYS2d 571 (1983).

18. To meet the burden for proving civil contempt, the movant must

prove “beyond a reasonable certainty” that the contemnor disobeyed the

court order. McCormick v. Axelrod, 59 NY2d 574 at 584, 466 NYS2d 279

at 284. Willfulness or intent on part of the contemnor is not required:

In determining whether to grant an application to punish for


civil contempt pursuant to Judiciary Law § 753, the court need
not find willful or intentional conduct on the part of the
contemnor. Nor is the court required to find that the
contemnor benefited from his act of disobedience. “’[T]he
mere act of disobedience, regardless of its motive, is sufficient
to sustain a finding of civil contempt if such disobedience
defeats, impairs, impeded or prejudices the rights of a party.’”

Campanella v. Campanella, 152 ADd2d at 194, 548 NYS2d at 281 (citations

omitted).

19. To carry its burden for proving criminal contempt, the movant must

show “beyond a reasonable doubt” (Arietta v Jude Hotel Corp., NYLJ

9/13/89 p 21, col 3 [App Term 1st Dep’t]) that the contemnor acted with a

“higher degree of willfulness that is required in a civil contempt


proceeding.” DEC of NYC v. DEC of NYS, 70 NY2d at 240, 519 NYS2d at

542.

20. An award of attorneys’ fees and costs to the movant is proper as

“reasonable and necessary costs and expenses” for moving for contempt.

Judiciary Law § 773; Holskin v 22 Prince St. Assoc., 178 AD2d 347, 577

NYS2d 399 (1st Dep’t 1999).

21. It is indisputable that the Respondents-Landlords were obligated to

restore gas by May 16, 2018 and that they have failed and refused to do

so. There has been nothing preventing them from restoring gas, as the

email from ConEdison states that they passed the inspection in early

January 2018. It’s clear that the Respondents-Landlord have also made no

effort to restore the gas since January 2018, much less since the Court’s

March 16, 2018 Order.

22. There is no question that Respondents-Landlord have intentionally and

willfully disobeyed the So Ordered Stipulation order by failing and willfully

refusing to complete repairs. This behavior is egregious and demonstrates

contempt for this Court.

23. Respondents-Landlord must be fined for civil contempt and this court

should award Petitioners attorneys’ fees as moving for contempt was a

necessary cost that Petitioners incurred in attempting to get relief from

Respondents’ egregious behavior.


WHEREFORE, it is respectfully requested that this Court issue an Order

granting the instant motion in its entirety, punishing Respondents, their officers,

agents, and principals for civil and/or criminal contempt; and granting Petitioners

attorney’s fees all such other and further relief as may be just.

Dated: May 29, 2018


New York, NY

Respectfully submitted,

____________________
JENNIFER A. ROZEN

To: Rose & Rose


Attorneys for Respondents-Landlords
291 Broadway, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Valentine Moretti
Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Housing Litigation Division
100 Gold Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038
State of New York)

ss:

County of New York)

AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE

Michael L. Ward, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

I am not a party to this action, I am over the age of 21 years and reside in New York County, New
York.

On May 3L,20L8, at approximately L230hrs, I served the within ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR
CONTEMPT at the offices of Rose & Rose, 2gL Broadway, L3th Floor, New York, NY LOOO7, by personally
delivering and leaving the same at that address. The description of the front desk receptionist on the
thirteenth floor who accepted the package on behalf of David Haberman, Esq., of Rose & Rose is:

Name: Linda (unknown last name)


Sex: Female
Skin color: Light
Hair: Black
Approximate Age: 30
Approximate Height: 5'6
Approximate Weight: L30 lbs

Michael L. Ward

Sworn to before me this 31sÏ day of May, 2018

KARISHMA I(IRAN PAIEI


NOTARY PUBI.IC.STATE OF NEW YORK
No. 02PAó330909
Quolllled ln Queens Counly
My Commlsslon Erp¡rss Seplember 29, 20lg
State of New York)

ss

County of New York)

AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE

Bryn Roeder et al v. Steven Croman et al


Civil Court of the City of New York, County of New york: Housing part B
lndex No. HP 06025/2078

Michael L. Ward, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

I am not a party to this action, I am over the age of 2L years and reside in New york County, New
York

On May 3t,2OL8,l served the within ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR CONTEMpT on the
addressee(s) noted below by depositing a true copy of the same, for overnight delivery, in an official
depository under the exclusive care and custody of FedEx/Kinko's within New York State, addressed to
each of the following person(s) at the last known address set forth after each name:

To: Valentine Moretti


NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
100 Gold Street, 6th Floor
New York NY 10038

Michael L. Ward

Sworn to before me this 31't day of May, 2018

KARISHMA KIRAN PATEL


OF NEW YORK
NOIARY PUBTIC'STAIE
No' 02PAô330909
Quolllled ln Queens CounlY
28' 2019
,, aìäot'on Expires seplember