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I won a Small Claims Case against my landlord and they filed for Trial De Novo, What should I do?

Rochester, NY |

My previous Landlord has filed for Trial De Novo after losing in small claims court.

Some details of the case:
The landlord only rents to College students.

I filed for 5 months worth of rent because of:
A) Mold issues that took 3 months to fix.

B) One of my roommates broke into my room and stole some items. They refused to remove him from the apartment even though he had broken the leasing agreement (He had already signed a lease for the upcoming year) I did not feel safe so I moved out four months early (but continued paying rent as my lease required).

I'm a 21 year old college student on a strict budget. Any help is appreciated.

Should I get a lawyer to represent me?
Doesn't there have to be a reason to file for Trial De Novo beyond the fact that they lost?

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Filed under: Small claims court
Attorney answers 2


Your landlords papers should tell you why they believe they are entitled to a trial de novo. They are looking for another court to review the facts and the law. It sounds like you've done a pretty good job for yourself so far, but things could start getting complicated. You should try to have a consultation with a local attorney to review the paperwork, etc. You may find the fees affordable, and if not, at least you can get a better sense of what you're up against. Good luck!


If the case is decided by a judge of the court then there is no automatic Trial De Novo.

If it is decided by a what is a JHO or a Judicial Hearing Officer, then a Trial De Novo.can be brought as a matter of right by a payment of $75 and a demand. If it is a matter which is taken as of right, then no reason need be given in the demand because when a judicial hearing Officer makes the decision, it is not the same as the jurisdictional level as an actual judge of the Court.
The amount which is a controversy is what will most likely govern whether or not it is worth it to you to hire an attorney or even pay an attorney for consultation. You may wish to see whether or not VLSP (Volunteer Legal Services Project) or MCLAC- the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation can be of assistance. They are both located in the Michael to Alaska Center for Justice on the corner of Exchange andn Main St., Rochester, NY
Best of luck!
Bob Brenna Jr.
No relationship is intended, agreed upon or accepted by answering this general question
Brenna Brenna, & Boyce PLLC
Rochester, New York

No relationship is intended, agreed upon or accepted by answering this general question

Robert L. Brenna Jr.

Robert L. Brenna Jr.


Sorry the Voice recognition did it again It is the Hon. Michael Telesca Center for Justice Bob Brenna Jr