A Resolution Part is a courtroom where the landlord and tenant can discuss their differences before a Judge or Court Attorney sees if an agreement can be reached to settle the dispute. You may also be there for a motion or an order to show cause.
A Resolution Part is presided over by a Judge, assisted by two court attorneys, a clerk, and a court officer. The court officer, wearing the uniform, stands in the courtroom to maintain order. The clerk, sitting at a desk at the front of the courtroom, can answer any questions you may have about the calendar or the Judge’s rules. The court attorneys, who are lawyers, assist the Judge. Also, volunteer court representatives are present to assist. The Judge sits on the bench at the front of the Courtroom and hears motions and cases, and reviews stipulations and orders to show cause.
Each Resolution Part has its own rules posted on the wall and can be obtained from the court clerk. You can also view the Judge’s rules at Part Rules. Depending upon the part’s rules, you must either quietly check in with the court clerk or court officer or listen for your case to be called. If you need an interpreter, you should tell the court clerk.
Your case may have been assigned to one of the Housing Courts specialty Parts depending on the subject matter:
New York City Housing Authority Part
Housing Part Proceedings (HP) (proceeding to compel repairs)
When a case is called, the landlord and tenant or their attorneys will meet with the judge or court attorney to discuss the case. If you are not the named tenant or the named landlord but are in court on their behalf, you should let the court personnel know. If you are a tenant and your apartment needs repairs, you can ask for an inspection. If you are a landlord and you have completed the repairs, you can ask for an inspection. You may go to Inspection Request to view the civil court form. You will have to come back to Court at a later date if the Judge grants the request for an inspection. You may have an attorney represent you on your case. If you need time to get an attorney, or if you need documents that you do not have with you today, or if you have another reason for not being ready, you can ask to come back at a later date. This is called an adjournment. At the landlord’s request, the Judge can order the tenant to deposit the future rent if the tenant requests two adjournments or if the case has been in court for more than 30 days.
While you are waiting for the case to be called, you must be quiet. Just as you would want other people to be quiet when your case is being heard, others in the courtroom should receive the same courtesy. If you are approached by the other party or the party’s lawyer in your case, you do not have to speak to that person outside the judge or court attorney’s presence. However, you should feel free to step outside the courtroom to speak to the other party or lawyer only if you want to. Every case will be discussed by either the judge or the court attorney before you leave.
There is mediation available in some boroughs as an alternative to having a judge decide your case. In a mediation session, a professionally trained neutral person sits down with the parties. Each party has an opportunity to explain his or her position on the issues in dispute, listen to each other, and work together to reach a mutually acceptable solution. The Court will review any agreement reached through mediation. If you cannot resolve your case through mediation, your case will be sent back to the Resolution Part. Not all cases are appropriate for mediation. If you wish to have a mediator handle your case, either tell the court clerk or say so when you answer the calendar.
When your case is called, the judge or court attorney will discuss the case to see if the case can be settled. If, after discussing the case, the landlord and tenant agree to a settlement of the case, a document called a Stipulation of Settlement would be written up for the landlord and tenant to read and sign. No one can force anyone to settle a case or sign an agreement. No one should agree to settle a case if they do not agree with the settlement terms. The Stipulation of Settlement is a binding agreement between the landlord and tenant. In Settlement’s Stipulation, the landlord and tenant may agree to do certain things by certain dates. If the landlord or tenant fails to follow through on her or his end of the agreement, there may be dire consequences. It is important that you only make an agreement that you know you can keep and that you agree with.
If, after discussing the case, the landlord and tenant cannot reach an agreement, the case will be referred to another part of the Housing Court, called a Trial Part, for trial. Except, cases assigned to the HP Part remain in part for trial and do not go to a different Trial Part. The trial may occur that day, or it may be scheduled for another date depending on the Court’s calendar and on whether the judge determines that the case is ready for trial.
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