S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
I N A S S E M B L Y
February 7, 2018
Introduced by M. of A. BRONSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Judiciary
AN ACT relating to enacting the Rochester housing court act
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "Rochester housing court act".
§ 2. Definitions. As used in this act unless the context otherwise
requires, the following words and terms shall have the meaning ascribed
(a) "Housing codes" means all state and local laws for the establish-
ment and maintenance of housing standards, including but not limited to
the multiple dwelling law, real property law, real property actions and
proceedings law, real property tax law, and the housing and property
code, building code, zoning ordinance, and fire prevention code and
related ordinances of the city of Rochester.
(b) "City" means the city of Rochester.
§ 3. Actions and proceedings permitted. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, a separate part of the city court of Rochester shall
be exclusively devoted to actions and proceedings involving the enforce-
ment of all housing codes, pertaining to all real property situated
within the city as follows:
(a) Actions for the imposition and collection of criminal penalties,
and for the imposition and collection of civil penalties, for the
violation of any state or local laws involving the establishment and
maintenance of housing standards.
(b) Actions for the collection of costs, expenses and disbursements
incurred by the city of Rochester in the elimination or correction of a
nuisance or other violation of any of the housing codes, or in the
removal or demolition of any dwelling pursuant to such housing codes.
(c) Actions and proceedings for the establishment, enforcement or
foreclosure of liens upon real property and upon the rents therefrom for
civil penalties, or for costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by
the city in the elimination or correction of a nuisance or other
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
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violation of any of the housing codes or in the removal or demolition of
any building pursuant to such housing codes.
(d) Proceedings for the issuance of injunctions and restraining orders
or other orders for the enforcements of housing standards under any of
the housing codes.
(e) All summary proceedings to recover possession of residential prem-
ises to remove tenants therefrom, and to render judgment for rent due,
in which a tenant alleges a defense under section seven hundred fifty-
five of the real property actions and proceedings law, relating to stay
or proceedings or action for rent upon failure to make repairs, section
three hundred two-a of the multiple dwelling law, relating to the abate-
ment of rent in case of certain violations of any housing codes, and
section two hundred thirty-five-b of the real property law, relating to
a landlord's duty to maintain habitable premises, or any other law
involving housing code enforcement. The administrative judge of Roches-
ter city court may, in his or her discretion, empower the housing part
to hear all summary proceedings to recover possession of residential
premises, regardless of whether a tenant alleges a defense, at any time
when he or she feels that housing part is capable of handling all such
(f) Proceedings for the appointment of a receiver of rents, issues and
profits of buildings in order to remove or remedy a nuisance or to make
repairs required to be made under such housing codes.
(g) Actions and proceedings for the removal of housing violations
recorded pursuant to such housing codes, or for the imposition of such
violation or for the stay of any penalty thereunder.
(h) Special proceedings to vest title in the city to abandoned multi-
ple dwellings and one and two-unit structures.
§ 4. Consolidation. On the application of any city department, any
party or on its own motion, the housing part shall, unless good cause is
shown to the contrary, consolidate all actions and proceedings pending
in such part as to any building.
§ 5. Relief permitted. Regardless of the relief originally sought by a
party, the court may recommend or employ any remedy, program, procedure
or sanction authorized by law for the enforcement of housing standards,
if it believes they will be more effective to accomplish compliance or
to protect and promote the public interest; provided in the event any
such proposed remedy, program or procedure entails the expenditure of
moneys appropriated by the city, other than for the utilization and
deployment of personnel and services incidental thereto, the court shall
give notice of such proposed remedy, program or procedure to the city
department charged with the enforcement of local laws relating to hous-
ing maintenance and shall not employ such proposed remedy, program or
procedure, as the case may be, if such department shall advise the court
in writing within the time fixed by the court, which shall not be less
than fifteen days after such notice has been given, of the reasons such
order should not be issued, which advice shall become part of the
record. The court may retain continuing jurisdiction of any action or
proceeding relating to a building until all violations of law have been
§ 6. Joinder. In any of the actions or proceedings specified in
section three of this act and on the application of any party, any city
department or the court, on its own motion, may join any other person or
city department as a party in order to effectuate proper housing mainte-
nance standards and to promote the public interest.
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§ 7. Judge; rules of evidence. Actions and proceedings before the
housing part shall be tried before the housing part judge, who shall be
assigned to the housing part by the administrative judge of the city
court. Rules of evidence shall be applicable in actions and proceedings
before the housing part.
§ 8. Advisory council; appointment. An advisory council for the hous-
ing part shall be established, and it shall be composed of two members
representative of each of the following: the real estate industry,
tenants' organizations, civic groups, bar associations, the Rochester
housing committee and four members from the public at-large. Such
members shall be appointed by the administrative judge of the city
court, with the approval of the presiding justices of the fourth depart-
ment. The members of the advisory council shall be appointed for a
renewable term of three years provided that one of the initial members
of each classification of membership shall serve for two years, such
classes to be determined by the administrative judge. In addition, the
mayor of the city and the city official in charge of housing programs
shall each appoint one member to serve at their pleasure.
§ 9. Advisory council; reports. The advisory council shall meet at
least four times a year, and on such additional occasions as they may
require or as may be required by the administrative judge. Members shall
receive no compensation. Members shall visit housing part from time to
time to review the manner in which the part is functioning, and make
recommendations to the administrative judge and to the advisory council.
A report on the work of the court shall be prepared annually and submit-
ted to the administrative judge, the administrative board of the judi-
cial conference, the majority and minority leaders of the senate and
assembly, the governor and the mayor of the city, by January thirty-
first of each year.
§ 10. Cross-index. The clerk of the court shall maintain a cross-index
of the names of all owners against which any action or proceeding has
been brought under section three of this act. The clerk shall also main-
tain a cross-index number system indicating by street address all
actions and proceedings brought under such section.
§ 11. Corporation. A corporation which is a party may be represented
by an officer, director or a principal stockholder.
§ 12. Service of summons. Where the manner of service prescribed for
actions and proceedings in this court includes delivery of the summons
to a person at the actual place of business of the person to be served,
such delivery may be made alternatively to a person of suitable age and
discretion at the address registered with the department charged with
the enforcement of local laws relating to housing maintenance, herein-
after referred to as the "registered address". Where the manner of
service prescribed for actions and proceedings in this court includes
affixing the summons to the door of the actual place of business of the
person to be served, the summons may, as an alternative, be posted in a
conspicuous place on the premises specified in the summons. Where the
manner of service for actions or proceedings in this court includes
mailing the summons to the person to be served at his or her last known
residence, the summons may, as an alternative, be mailed to the regis-
tered address. A copy of the summons with proof of service shall be
filed in the manner provided in section four hundred nine of the uniform
city court act, except that such filing shall be made with the clerk of
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§ 13. Jury trial. Nothing contained in this act shall in any way
affect the right of any party to trial by jury as heretofore provided by
§ 14. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law. Effective immediately, the office of court adminis-
tration shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the imple-
mentation of this act on its effective date.