U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > New York City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 10-06-2013, 02:47 PM
 
23 posts, read 82,941 times
Reputation: 31

Advertisements

AN EVIL AND ILLEGAL EVICTION IN NEW YORK CITY
by HANNA SILBER


A woman, an entertainer, living in a NYC rent controlled apartment for more than 40 years was brutalized and injured by the police by instruction of Orsid management. Judge Sheldon J. Halprin refused to allow her to go in and get essential basic items such as medicine, credit cards or clothes, knowing she has no place to go except roaming aimlessly in the streets of New York City.

“Judge Sheldon J. Halprin reduced me to roaming the streets of New York with no future, no hope and no place to go. How can a housing judge take away from a law abiding citizen basic human rights that are even awarded to the most evil criminals?”

Since the passing of husband Leo Silber (an attorney) in 1993, the conditions in my apartment at 645 West End Avenue in New York City, a turn of the century landmark building, deteriorated rapidly. The landlord neglected to repair failing plumbing and heating in the rented apartment above me, and adding insult to injury, my bathrooms and bedroom were sacrificed in order to perform aggressive renovations of the private apartment below me. My comfortable home had quickly become an uninhabitable hellhole as the super and management willfully and consistently avoided amending this “collateral” damage, and performing other essential repairs. I suffered through an unusable bathroom where I couldn’t even shower, constant dripping and falling cement from the ceilings, no heat or hot water in the kitchen and no heat in the living room. I had to wash myself in a horrible basin in the maid’s room. They even refused to repair my front door which was hanging at an angle for about ten years on a shaky hinge and had to be lifted a bit with every use. In fact, these chronic conditions of crumbling masonry and construction dust had managed to cause me some terrible eye damage as officially diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. I even narrowly escaped death by electrocution on two occasions, as I accidentally touched live wires and an open bathroom switch, left exposed by the super during some half-hearted attempts at some terribly shoddy repairs.

In March 2007 things really hit rock-bottom. I thought that finally the leaky ceilings and falling plaster would cease since the super told me he was going to finally repair my apartment while I was out for the entire day. To my great horror, when I returned home looking forward to witnessing freshly plastered rooms, I found demolished walls and a mess of missing plumbing and sawed-off water pipes. In addition, many of my belongings were soaked, damaged and broken. All of this new and terrible damage had been inflicted on me so that the apartment below me, (10B) owned by a shareholder and member of the co-op board could be modernized with pretty renovations. What followed was no less than sixteen months of seemingly endless chaos with me pleading for a resolution of these conditions and receiving endless promises but little action. All this constant suffering with dirt, dust and neglectfully scattered construction materials and debris culminated on July 5th, 2008, as I suddenly slipped and fell on one of the slippery plastic tarps that had been left by the workers when they demolished the wall in my apartment on that day, sixteen months earlier, when I came home to this horrifying mess. This fall left me with a devastating fracture to my left hand and wrist in seven places for which I had to undergo two surgeries and it seems the damage is not fully reversible.

On April 8th, 2008, the landlord suddenly took me to court for non-payment. It was a bogus claim (Index No. 066581/08) because I had paid and my check had already been cashed by the landlord twenty four days before the date of the court hearing. When I was in court I asked the judge to order repairs and I demonstrated the need for them by presenting several photographs of the apartment which I had taken over the years. While the repairs were finally ordered by the judge, they were done so unprofessionally and neglectfully that they failed almost immediately, and the former conditions of leaking and falling plaster returned again!

Judge Leibowitz was assigned to my case and the new index number was 054063 (2010). The landlord demanded a rent payment of $6,800. Judge Leibowitz told my attorney at the time, Mr. Rawlings, that he would rather give this amount to me instead of the landlord and decided to refer the landlord’s case for an abatement trial. At the first hearing, upon hearing the facts, Hon. Judge Jean Schneider decided to simply dismiss the case. This was to my benefit, but alas, to my detriment, being uninformed and eager to reach a quick and final resolution, I did the landlord a great favor by going back and bringing their case back to the calendar. This was a very naive move for which I was to pay for dearly.

Judge Kaplan was assigned as the new judge. (New index number 054063110, October 14, 2010.) He ordered repairs as well but again they weren’t completed properly and the problems continued. So once again my case was referred to an abatement trial. This time Judge Sheldon J. Halprin was assigned. A former judge who helped me pro se and promised to attend the hearing on March 30th, 2011, called me in that morning to let me know that he could not attend since he was sick and that I should call him later.

The court clerk seated me and my friend Hollace on a narrow bench in the room situated behind the scheduling room on the 8th floor, a dimly lit and stifling room with no windows. The landlord’s attorneys were sitting outside in the long corridor. The court clerk was communicating back and forth many times for a few hours, informing me that the best I can do is a one month abatement. He was not interested in the condition of my apartment for all these years. The option of an abatement trial was not even mentioned.

The stipulation was written entirely by the landlord’s attorneys and when the clerk brought the sloppily handwritten stipulation for me to read, I was not able to see anything clearly on the yellow paper as the lighting was very dim and even intermittent. It was so bad that my friend and I had joked that we were sitting on a bench in purgatory. Under these circumstances, with my severe sight problems, I could not read nor understand the stipulation that I was supposed to sign. My friend Hollace, a teacher, read it to me and even she couldn’t understand much of it.

Hollace also helped prepare a list that the clerk urged me to prepare of the repairs that were still needed in my apartment. After more than three years in court and endless orders to perform repairs in my apartment, my apartment still needed much work. In spite of all this I was pressured to sign the stipulation right then and there. I didn’t even realize I could demand to take it with me for further review before signing. Later on I was able to read a darker and clearer photocopy of the document at home. Reading it carefully I realized, to my horror, that the agreement had errors and unclear statements which appeared to be traps and that by signing it I had put myself in great jeopardy. According to this tricky agreement, I am ordered to pay rent payments for three months and in the same sentence it states that these payments are not part of this agreement: “April, May and June rent on or before the 24th day of each month, although April – June 2011 are not part of this action, or money order.” Of course this made no sense, and I felt that since I signed it under duress, with no counsel, and without the chance for proper evaluation, I could get it vacated. So on April 12th, 2011 I filed an Order to Show Cause (OSC), pleading with Judge Halprin to vacate the stipulation.

On April 27, 2011, Judge Halprin denied my OSC and partially changed the terms of the stipulation. The payment dates were changed to: “April rent on May 6 2011 and June rent by June 6.” But I had already paid April rent on April 4th, 2011! The Judge never even asked me to sign this revised document but I didn’t think about that since all I could see was that amazingly it was no clearer than the previous one. This time it didn’t mention anything about May’s rent. If April’s rent was due on May 6th, you’d expect May’s rent to be due on June 6th. However here it stated that June’s rent payment would be due on June 6th, so when was May’s rent due? Since the judge had denied my OSC and this revised agreement was also suspiciously indecipherable I decided I had to file a Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Term, which I did on May 4th, 2011. Upon filing I was informed that if I received an eviction notice, the Appellate Term would furnish me with a stay. But alas, I never received any eviction notice and I was suddenly evicted with no warning on May 31st, 2011, six days before the next scheduled payment of June 6th. It was also a whole month before a stipulated lump sum payment of $10,000 was due on June 30th, 2011.

On the morning of May 31st, 2011, simply out of the blue, Marshal Regan came to evict me and presented me with the eviction notice for the first time. The eviction notice was never put on or under my door. The doorman did not notify me about any special visitors or documents. I suspected foul play by the building’s management and Marshal Regan understood that I had been ambushed by the landlord. Marshal Regan also realized that I had the money to pay my rent and instructed me to go to court immediately and file an OSC so that the good judge would let me return to my apartment and retrieve some essential items like my eye drops that I needed to use in preparation for eye surgery. (I was so surprised, shocked and confused that I couldn’t locate any important items and I was sure the judge would allow me to return.) I followed the Marshal’s instructions and spent most of the day standing in line in the Housing Court so that I could present Judge Sheldon J. Halprin with an OSC.

Judge Halprin’s clerk ordered me to sit outside the courtroom. He did not ask me a single question, not even if I had the rent money. As a matter of fact, I had the money in my checking account for all the money I needed to pay according to the stipulation and more. The court officer handed Judge Halprin’s denial to me and told me to go to the pro se department. The pro se department attorneys told me to go to my bank and bring proof that I have money in my account to pay the rent. Unfortunately the Chase branches I visited near the courthouse refused to cooperate with me because I had no identification and no bank card or checkbook. Everything was locked up in my apartment. When I went back to the court for more advice, the guard refused to let me back because the court was closing.

At this point I knew that I was homeless and had lost everything I had ever worked for in my entire life. All my musical arrangements for more than 10 piece orchestra, all of my special material that cost me a fortune and a lifetime of dedication, my computer and all my personal phone books that provided me with the ability to find work, piano, keyboards, guitars, sound systems, costumes, thousands of books in many languages, everything I and my family ever owned was in this apartment. Important items and documents shipped to me by my late father from Israel, including mementos of family members that were lost in the holocaust, to keep and preserve in my apartment for future generations. Over the next two days, June 1st and 2nd, all my belongings were shipped to a warehouse in Long Island.

Since I had no money and no way to call anybody, I went back to my building to stay with my friend, Mrs. Kellar, in Apartment 10C for the night. I knew that she would be home for the evening because of her health problems. She was home but for no reason the police were called and two warrantless officers accompanied by the super Mr Nuñes suddenly broke through Mrs. Kellar’s front door shouting as if in a drug bust. They aggressively grabbed me from behind, violently twisting my arm and hand while dragging me in a fetal position through the building’s long hallway to the farthest elevator. Mr. Hugh M. Zanger Esq., the building manager, was grinning widely while watching this sadistic scene from a corner near the staircase and thanked the officers profusely. They damaged both of my hands and fingers, twisted my right arm and shoulder, and even now a year later I suffer excruciating pain when I use my hands and arm. The police made sure that I could not play the piano. I had to cancel upcoming performances and my scheduled eye surgery, and am still blind in one eye to this day!

Judge Sheldon J. Halprin destroyed my ability to earn a living and reduced me to roaming the streets of New York with no future, no hope and no place to go. How can a housing judge take away from a law abiding citizen basic human rights that are even awarded to the most evil criminals? Judge Halprin dismissed almost twenty years of abuse by the landlord – bogus court summons, rejections of rent payments, rodents and water bugs, and no heat and hot water for three years, and exposed electrical wires inside closets, as well as demolished walls and pipes and endless dirt. Judge Halprin ignored the fact that I had been ambushed by the management (I never received an eviction notice) and that the landlord managed to use my illegal eviction (I had the financial ability to satisfy the stipulation in full) to engage two police officers in brutalizing me emotionally and physically in front of a crowd.

So after more than forty years in America and in this apartment, Judge Halprin decided that Mr. Zanger, Mr. Nuñes (who will do anything to please his master) and an unknown moving crew will be my heirs.

Looking for any help or suggestions. Please Contact Hanna Silber: tamuz12@gmail.com
Rate this post positively

 
Old 10-06-2013, 08:12 PM
 
129 posts, read 220,953 times
Reputation: 145
So I read all this and I ask "why the hell didn't you move out of there years ago to somewhere, anywhere else" ?
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-07-2013, 02:26 PM
 
23 posts, read 82,941 times
Reputation: 31
Rent control?
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
24,124 posts, read 33,714,130 times
Reputation: 11710
You'd think, after her thousand word screed, she'd mention the rent, wouldn't you. Perhaps the building's location as well?

Best line was "I had to wash in the maid's room." THE HORROR!

Oy, and signing "agreements" you don't understand and then whining about it later. Cut me a break here.

Where was this published, Tek Wiz?
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 08:06 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
4,285 posts, read 7,452,687 times
Reputation: 3921
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefir King View Post
You'd think, after her thousand word screed, she'd mention the rent, wouldn't you. Perhaps the building's location as well?

Best line was "I had to wash in the maid's room." THE HORROR!

Oy, and signing "agreements" you don't understand and then whining about it later. Cut me a break here.

Where was this published, Tek Wiz?
645 West End Avenue, yo.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
9,083 posts, read 22,618,747 times
Reputation: 7415
Wow,riveting story.Sounds like an epic NYC landlord v.rent controlled tenant battle.

I would love to now hear the other side of this story because it seems like there are a lot of missing pieces, like how much the rent was and for how many years she was witholding the rent.Sounds like a landlord from hell battling a tenant from hell.Would make a great movie.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 10:21 AM
 
4,472 posts, read 9,363,631 times
Reputation: 4336
Any time anyone uses "evil" in a subject line I automatically disregard anything in the thead.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
9,083 posts, read 22,618,747 times
Reputation: 7415
Well,did some research and here is a link to an ad for the apartment from July,2011 just after the eviction.I was able to do this because the Op had posted another thread on this matter and stated the apartment was 645 West End Ave,11b.

Condo for sale at 645 West End Avenue 11B, New York, NY, 10024

Here ia a link to the other thread://www.city-data.com/forum/polit...ity-hanna.html

The apartment looks to be in fairly good shape actually.According to ACRIS it sold for $1,350,000 on 8/23/2011.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 10:39 AM
 
6,459 posts, read 11,428,145 times
Reputation: 6381
Quote:
Since the judge had denied my OSC and this revised agreement was also suspiciously indecipherable I decided I had to file a Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Term, which I did on May 4th, 2011. Upon filing I was informed that if I received an eviction notice, the Appellate Term would furnish me with a stay. But alas, I never received any eviction notice and I was suddenly evicted with no warning on May 31st, 2011, six days before the next scheduled payment of June 6th. It was also a whole month before a stipulated lump sum payment of $10,000 was due on June 30th, 2011.
This happened quite a lot in LA several years ago. Landlords would file papers to evict, then the tenant would go to the landlord to arrange full payment. The LL accepts the money, but fails to notify court. Tenant doesn't know that LL is still going through with the eviction, so he doesn't defend himself nor attend court hearing. Six months later, tenant is sitting down to eat breakfast or dinner with his family when a Sheriff's Deputy comes to evict him. Tenant is allowed 30 minutes to retrieve as much as he can. He's homeless and there's nothing he can do about it. There were hundreds of cases like all over.

The Sheriff's Department began complaining to Housing Court about the problem, because they were receiving the same stories from different people, so they knew they weren't lying. Housing Court began mailing everything to tenant. No longer relying on the LL to do his "duty" to serve tenant personally.

I feel bad for this woman. I wonder why she didn't put all of the bank rent money in an Escrow account? They're still doing this right? It would have protected her.

Last edited by marilyn220; 10-09-2013 at 11:23 AM..
Rate this post positively
 
Old 10-09-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
4,285 posts, read 7,452,687 times
Reputation: 3921
She lived there for 40 years. Why couldn't she have ever bought an apartment in all those years? Maybe not the same size, but still.

Seems as though it would have prevented this kind of crap. Rent is just pissing $$$ away, even cheap rent-controlled places.
Rate this post positively
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread
>
Powered by Foreclosure.com



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > New York City
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top