- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Vasquez eviction case adjourned until Thursday | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Vasquez eviction case adjourned until Thursday

Monday afternoon in Bronx County Housing Court, during a proceeding lasting about 15 minutes, Judge Pierre Turner addressed the arguments of Highbridge resident Carmen Vasquezwho was evicted by city marshals on Friday—why she should regain possession of her home.

During a post-eviction hearing, Vasquez stood behind her attorney, Eric Pilotti, and Marybeth Hotaling, counsel for Alliance Housing Associates II, as Turner and the two lawyers discussed the case for roughly 15 minutes. It was Pilotti's first time representing Vasquez ; Vasquez said Pilotti worked with her regular lawyer, Joseph Altman, who is currently out-of-state.

In the end, Turner declared the majority of Vasquez' arguments to be either improperly raised or invalid on their merits. However, he adjourned the case until Thursday for further discussion of one of her claims: that her landlord forfeited the right to bring eviction proceedings against her by accepting rent payments after terminating her lease.

Hotaling said in court that Alliance Housing Associates II was not conceding that such rent payments had been accepted.

There appeared to be very little discussion Monday of the heart of Vasquez' argument for why her eviction was improper: that her landlord sabotaged her efforts to recertify her public assistance eligibility by stalling in submitting necessary documents to the city and refusing to meet with Vasquez for a required interview. (Once Vasquez' eligibility expired, her rent was raised from $277.00 per month to the market-value figure of $1132.00 per month) .

Turner said there had been ample time—six months— in between when the court entered a judgment of possession against Vasquez and last Friday, when city marshals evicted her. "She got more than she bargained for," Turner said.

Earlier in the hearing, he said giving tenants such a time window was appropriate. "In the Bronx-I'll stand behind what I said years ago," Turner said. "We do not sit around and let tenants get evicted immediately."

After the hearing, Carmen Villa-Lugo—court attorney for Judge Turner—indicated there were three possible outcomes to Thursday's hearing: First, that the matter would be adjourned again ; second, that Judge Turner would reserve the decision to rule on the case at a later date; or third, that he would issue a ruling from the bench on Thursday.

Villa-Lugo said the last option—a ruling from the bench—was the most likely.

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