Landlord saga continues
March 24, 2011 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Step-by-stepFilter: Collecting small claims court judgement in New York?

A while back I have posted this question.

Fast forward 3 months later the following happened:

1) Soon after writing the post, I have sued the landlord in small claims court for the full amount of security deposit ($2,450)
2) Hearing was scheduled for January. I showed up, landlord didn't, but his lawyer did. The lawyer requested adjournment, claiming he was retained an hour before and was not prepared. And thus the hearing was postponed to March.
3) Now, it's March, I came to court on the set date, but this time neither the landlord nor his lawyer showed up. Therefore, the courted has directed an inquest, I have presented by case, and the judgement was ruled in my favor for the full amount plus a filing fee.

My actual questions (I know YANML):

How to proceed:

- I have read that the landlord can file a motion to re-open (within 35 days?) the case if he can prove he was absent on the court date for a valid reason. What is the likelyhood this will happen? Also, does anyone know of the success rate of such cases actually winning and me losing my deposit?

- In case he does initiate such motion to default the inquest, should I follow the same procedure and show up to court ready? What other steps can I take to ensure this case will be over for good?

- Should I initiate collection of my judgement through a collection agency or a NY city marshall? What are the pros/cons of each?

I would love any feedback, anecdotal or otherwise.
posted by mooselini to Law & Government (1 answer total)
the landlord has 30 days to send you the money post-judgment, correct? so, lay low for this time and wait for your check. on the 31st day, if you have not received the money, go to a branch of your landlord's bank (you can find the info on the back of any checks he/she's cashed previously). present your court documents that award you the money to the clerk, and they are obligated to freeze your landlord's account immediately. once your landlord realizes the account was frozen, you will likely receive payment from him/her within days. you can do this without the help or fees of a collection agency.

regarding the motion to re-open, not sure about that. but again, check the language on your court document regarding the pay period and just hope that, should you not receive your money, that you are prepared to act on day 31. good luck.
posted by jazzybelle at 3:26 AM on March 25, 2011

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