I have been sued in a small claims civil suit-for allegations of rent not being paid in the months of Jan., July, & Aug. of 2010

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

Keep in mind, rent was $1,996.00 per month. Due to the landlord not knowing my current address I received a notice of judgement, however I'll be reopening this case. The total judgement is listed at $4,517.50--which clearly does not add up to the claimant's allegations.

My question is, should I mention the fact that the claimant's allegations don't even corroborate to the total judgement? I'm thinking it could add to my risk of potentially having to pay more(1,996 x 3) if the court does not rule in my favor.

For context, the landlord never returned my $3,000 security deposit and this hasn't been promulgated to the court, I have her bank deposit slip receipts for the months she has alleged were unpaid, and I have public documents that show units below $2k--the crux of her argument.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Were you served? Did you answer? How do you have the other person' s bank records? You will likely be ordered to pay what you owe plus 9 percent interest.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  2. Steven Warren Smollens

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Dear New York Tenant:

    You should follow the procedure for vacating a default judgment in the Small Claims Court:

    http://courts.state.ny.us/COURTS/nyc/smallclaim...

    If you have a claim against the plaintiff landlord, that is a counterclaim, and you are allowed to prosecute a counterclaim along with the landlord's main claim, as long as you are allowed to vacate the judgment, and properly file the counterclaim.

    http://courts.state.ny.us/COURTS/nyc/smallclaim...

    So. The focus of your energy is vacating the judgment, seeking the right to interpose an answer where you succinctly dispute the plaintiff's claims, and a counterclaim for the security deposit.

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should... more
  3. Christopher J Alvarado

    Contributor Level 6

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based on the facts that you have given you most likely need an attorney. First you need to vacate the default judgment and get the case reopened and back on the court's calendar. With regard to your comment on the security deposit, security is security and rent is rent. You cannot use your security to satisfy rent arrears. If the landlord never returned your security and you have duly asked for it and there was no damage to justify the landlord keeping it, you can put in a counterclaim for the return of your security. As for having to pay more than the current judgment, the statutory maximum in small claims is 5,000.

  4. Brandy Ann Peeples

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Were you properly served with the Complaint? If you were properly served and if a judgment was obtained against you, then you might not be able to reopen the case. Moreover, the judgment amount could include items such as attorneys fees.

    Case are time sensitive. And there are limited reasons a court will allow a case to be re-opened or a judgment to be set aside. If you were not properly served and a judgment was entered against you, then you will have to re-open the case under grounds of fraud.

    You really should consult a local attorney -- even for an hour's time, it would be worth it so that you are ensured that you are following the correct procedural rules applicable to your situation -- especially if the judgment were improperly entered against you in the first place.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more

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Landlord-tenant law

Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state laws, and covers issues like security deposit limits and deadlines, evictions, and the right to withhold rent.

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