It would appear that that would depend on the judge hearing the case. You need to speak with an attorney immediately so that you can protect your interests.
Getting the first adjournment to get counsel is pretty easy. After that it is much harder, especially if you owe the landlord money - the Judge will think you are trying to delay the process.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Dear Brooklyn Tenant:
The amendment to the New York State Real Actions and Proceedings Law (at Article 7, Section 745 [Trial]) allowing for the tenant to have a "free" adjournment on the initial court, cones with a serious attached string on the occasion of the second court appearance or when the case has aged out to thirty days.
The Court is "compelled" to order a deposit of rent from the date of commencement of the lawsuit or direct the tenant to pay "Use and Occupancy" to the landlord . The landlord also must be "ready" to force this issue (as a landlord also not ready for trial should make the request for adjournment and the tenant should figure this out before voluntarily making a second adjournment application.
This is an Excerpt from the Statute:
">>>2. In the city of New York: (a) In a summary proceeding upon the second of two adjournments at the request of the respondent, or, upon the thirtieth day after the first appearance of the parties in court less any days that the proceeding has been adjourned upon the request of the petitioner, whichever occurs sooner, the court shall direct that the respondent, upon an application by the petitioner, deposit with the court within five days sums of rent or use and occupancy accrued from the date the petition and notice of petition are served upon the respondent, and all sums as they become due for rent and use and occupancy, which may be established without the use of expert testimony, unless the respondent can establish, at an immediate hearing, to the satisfaction of the court that respondent has properly interposed one of the following defenses or established the following grounds: (i) the petitioner is not a proper party to the proceeding pursuant to section seven hundred twenty-one of this article; or (ii) (A) actual eviction, or (B) actual partial eviction, or (C) constructive eviction; and respondent has quit the premises; or (iii) a defense pursuant to section one hundred forty-three-b of the social services law; or (iv) the court lacks jurisdiction. When the rental unit that is the subject of the petition is located in a building containing twelve or fewer units, the court shall inquire of the respondent as to whether there is any undisputed amount of the rent or use and occupancy due to the petitioner. Any such undisputed amount shall be paid directly to the petitioner, and any disputed amount shall be deposited to the court by the respondent as provided in this subdivision. Two adjournments shall include an adjournment requested by a respondent unrepresented by counsel for the purpose of securing counsel made on a return date of the proceeding.>>>"
See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/RPA/7/745#sthash.o57FGsJn.dpuf
This is a complex statute and certainly confusing to litigants without attorneys. If you come to court not prepared to raise one of those issues allowed as a "defense" to the rent deposit application, the landlord or the judge may back off. But the best strategy is let the landlord make the adjournment request.
Your judge may still allow a further no strings attached adjournment when the landlord requests the deposit by alerting the landlord's lawyer that the tenant's application for a second adjournment will be turned down as well as the landlord's request for a deposit, if the landlord right then is "Ready" for trial. Few are "ready" when the case is in the Resolution Part, and so, the case is adjourned then at the landlord's request, the tenant gets a new day without a rent deposit and another chance to come back to court with an attorney. Unfortunately, litigation strategy is not provided in the Housing Court Guides for tenants.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
You will need to provide the court with a valid reason as to why you are seeking an additional adjournment. The court will take your reason into consideration and there is no guarantee that the court will grant you an additional adjournment. If the landlord's attorney does not consent to the adjournment, you will likely have to make your adjournment request before the judge.
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