Vacatur of judgment in a Housing Court proceeding provide convenient means for tenants who are facing an eviction judgment but can present a good reason why they couldn’t respond to the landlord’s eviction proceeding. A motion to vacate can also be done if a tenant defaults or it the landlord believes the amount of money stated in the judgment is wrong. Tenants can also delay eviction by requesting an Order to Show Cause, which stops evictions from actually taking place even when there is an eviction judgment that was left unchallenged. At David Moss & Associates, we can help both landlords or tenants looking to vacate the Court’s judgment on any of the aforementioned reasons.
A motion to vacate judgment can be filed by either party to vacate a default judgment, a judgment on consent or a judgment following a trial or a hearing. If the time to appeal the judgment has expired, the motion to vacate judgment must be served on the other party in the same manner as serving a summons and complaint and affidavit of service must be filed with the Court. Once filed, a motion to vacate judgment needs to be promptly responded by the opposing party. A successful motion to vacate judgment will cancel a scheduled eviction and require the landlord to obtain a new judgment if s/he intends to evict the tenant.
Even if the judgment for the landlord cannot be vacated, the issuance of an Order to Show Cause stays (or temporarily stops) the eviction. Judgment in favor of the landlord in the Housing Court is by itself not sufficient to evict the tenant from the premises. Instead, the landlord has to obtain a warrant for eviction by contracting a City Marshal. The marshal will request a warrant of eviction from the Court. Once the warrant has issued, the marshal can then schedule and conduct an eviction.
The tenant can file an Order to Show Cause at the Housing Court during the aforementioned process before the date of the City Marshal’s appearance. Once the Housing Court judge grants an OSC, all efforts to evict the tenant from the premises –including an already scheduled eviction– needs to stop. An OSC can be granted without a specified limit depending on the Judge’s discretion, meaning that it could delay eviction for an indefinite period of time before the landlord and the tenant reaches an agreement.