Commercial Eviction Matters Commenced Prior to March 17, 2020

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks issued Administrative Order 160/20 concerning the revised procedure for addressing commercial eviction proceedings.

Effective August 13, 2020, with respect to commercial eviction matters commenced prior to March 17, 2020, the court may proceed in the normal course except no eviction of any commercial tenant for the nonpayment of rent rented by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic may proceed until after August 20, 2020.

Commercial Eviction Matters Commenced After to March 16, 2020

Commercial eviction matters commenced after March 16, 2020 continue to remain suspended until further order subject only to a virtual settlement conference in the event all parties are represented by counsel. Notably, Administrative Order 160/20 does not distinguish between nonpayment proceedings and holdover proceedings thereby seemingly foreclosing the ability of a landlord to commence a holdover proceeding premised upon any breach of the lease including, but not limited to, the nonpayment of rent.

While Administrative Order 160/20 provides encouragement that the courts are finally permitting certain commercial evictions to proceed after August 20, 2020, it is important to note that there is nothing in any Executive Order which permits the delay of any commercial proceeding, nonpayment or holdover, beyond August 20, 2020.  It is submitted that the Chief Administrative Judge, in suspending all post-March 16, 2020 eviction proceedings  “until further order”, exceeded his statutory and delegated powers to regulate the courts procedures and invaded the province of the legislature to regulate court procedure, a power that is Constitutionally conferred upon it under New York Constitution.

As we have opined in previous blog posts, especially with respect to commercial matters, it may be in the landlord’s best interest to proceed in Supreme Court.

Please contact Daniels Norelli Cecere & Tavel, PC to discuss how Administrative Order 160/20 may affect your  commercial case.

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