In a matter where taking too aggressive a position can backfire, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. obtained an affirmance before the Appellate Division of an order of the trial court, which stayed the prosecution of a plenary action a landlord brought against its tenant, pending the resolution of the holdover proceeding the landlord had previously commenced.
Dissatisfied with the progress in the holdover proceeding, the landlord sought to apply pressure to make the tenant vacate by bringing an action in the Supreme Court, seeking many millions of dollars in damages on account of the tenant’s alleged wrongful holding over. When the landlord then sought to recover certain rental arrears by means of a motion for partial summary judgment, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. opposed the motion and demonstrated how the action and the summary proceeding had overlapping issues, and that there was a need for uniformity in decisions between the two courts. Given this showing, the trial court, on its own motion, stayed the Supreme Court action pending the determination of the holdover proceeding. The landlord immediately appealed the order to the Appellate Division, First Department.
Before that Court, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that the trial court had broad authority to issue a stay to avoid inconsistent determinations, duplication of proof, and a waste of judicial resources. The Appellate Division agreed, finding that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in granting the stay because the holdover was first in time, involved the same parties, and both the action and summary proceeding require resolution of issues stemming from the tenants occupancy of the apartment.
Jeffrey R. Metz represented the tenant before the Appellate Division, First Department, and Jennifer Milosavljevic represented the tenant before the Supreme Court.