Friday, October 12, 2012

Braschi v Stahl Associates case brief

Braschi v Stahl Associates

-P lived w/ Leslie for 10 years in a rent controlled apt in Leslie's name; Leslie died.
-The landlord, Stahl, tried to evict P b/c his name wasn’t on lease. P filed perm injunction against LL

Procedure: trial court said P was “family”; App Court reversed; but now Supreme Court reverses & sides w/ trial that P is considered “family” for purposes of NY ordinance

Issue: whether “family” includes persons co-habitating for rent control reg purposes in NY; extent to which the law should treat gays as conjugal family members

Rule: in determining family status, court looks to these factors: exclusivity & longevity of the relationship, level of emotion/financial commitment, manner parties conducted daily lives & how they held themselves out to society, & reliance upon each other in daily family services; w/in the context of rent control & evictions, the term ‘family’ will be interpreted to include those who reside in households having all of the normal familial characteristics.

Analysis: D argues that P should be evicted b/c interpretation of “family” should be viewed by laws of intestacy & thus P wouldn’t get to stay. Court doesn’t accept this argument.
-The District Court said that non-eviction doesn’t concern succession to real prop & the reg doesn’t create an alienable property right so the reg doesn’t get deference to intestacy laws.

Conclusion: court adopted totality of the circumstances view to see if people are ‘family”

Holding: Braschi should be included w/in the def of family under NY Statute & allowed to occupy the apartment.

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