Sunday, December 8, 2013

Braschi v. Stahl Associates Co. case brief

Braschi v. Stahl Associates Co. case brief summary
543 N.E.2d 49 (1989)

Appellant tenant sought review of the judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department (New York) reversing a lower court order granting a motion by the tenant for a preliminary injunction and enjoining respondent landlord from evicting the tenant from the apartment at which he resided, and denying the tenant's motion.

The issue was whether, on his motion for a preliminary injunction, the tenant failed to establish, as a matter of law, the requisite clear likelihood of success on the merits of his claim to the protection from eviction provided by § 2204.6(d) of the New York City Rent and Eviction Regulations, codified at New York City, N.Y., Rules of the City of New York, Title 9, § 2204.6(d).

The landlord argued that the term "family member" should have been construed, consistent with New York's intestacy laws, to mean relationships of blood, consanguinity, and adoption in order to effectuate the over-all goal of orderly succession to real property.

The court held that the term family, as used in § 2204.6(d), was not to be rigidly restricted to those people who had formalized their relationship.

  • The intended protection against sudden eviction was not to rest on fictitious legal distinctions or genetic history, but instead should have had its foundation in the reality of family life. 
  • In the context of eviction, a more realistic view of a family included two adult lifetime partners whose relationship was long term and characterized by an emotional and financial commitment and interdependence.

The court reversed the order of the appellate division and remitted the case for consideration of undetermined questions, in accordance with its determination that the tenant had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits, in that he was not excluded, as a matter of law, from seeking noneviction protection.

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