153 Remsen Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Tel: (718) 522-3600

Thank you for consulting with this office to represent you in Housing Court. Here is an outline of the typical stages in a Landlord and Tenant case:


The first step is to draft the proper legal papers and have a process server serve them on the tenant. There are different types of proceedings and it is important that we discuss your particular situation with you in some depth (we call this "intake") in order to choose the action most appropriate for you. Please feel free to discuss all issues with us (and be candid as to whether there are illegal apartments or registrations). All matters you tell us will be held in strictest confidence, even if you do not retain us.

Some cases may require that the tenant receive a special written notice before the lawsuit can begin. All legal papers must be served upon the tenant by a process server. We find that it works best if our office prepares the papers and directs the service but we will need your assistance to get the process server into the building. The tenant will be served 5-7 days after you come in to sign the papers.

Important documents necessary for Court will need to be obtained at this point. A certified copy of the deed or the original lease is absolutely necessary. If the building is a multiple dwelling (3 or more apartments), a certified copy of the Multiple Dwelling Registration is necessary. If the building is rent controlled or rent stabilized a certified copy of the DHCR Registrations are necessary. This office will help you obtain these and other documents and prepare you and your witnesses for trial.


When the Notice and Petition are served, summoning the tenant to court, the clerk of the court will assign the case to one of six different judges who sit in "Resolution Parts" (one of which is specifically for coop apartments) for a specific date (8-10 days after the tenant is served). Your next step is to come to court on that date. The tenant could ask for an adjournment on the first date, but on the second request for an adjournment, the tenant is now required to deposit all rent into court if the Landlord is ready for trial! This is why it is important for you to be in court or "on call" (30 minutes away) on all court dates. This office is always "trial ready" and this gets results.

In the Resolution Part the judge and his court attorneys try to negotiate a settlement of the case. Remember, you do not have to settle, no matter what we or the judge recommend. You can always go to trial. But you hire us for our expertise, so listen to our recommendations. We never recommend a settlement for less than you could win at trial, but if your case is not as strong as it could be, maybe a settlement is in your best interest. If the case settles, but the tenant later defaults, we will restore the matter to obtain a judgment and a warrant of eviction.


If the case cannot be settled, it will be sent out for trial by one of three judges sitting in "Trial Parts". These judges are ready for trial and so most cases are tried the same day. This is another reason to be ready for trial from the very first day. You should have all of your documents, evidence, and witnesses (you cannot just submit sworn statements from them) ready for trial - or be prepared to take a settlement you might not like (instead of losing the trial).


Once the case has been settled by stipulation or we win at trial we must work with a City Marshal to obtain a warrant of eviction from the Court Clerk's Office. The Court Clerk's Office takes about 10-20 days to issue a warrant. When the warrant is issued, a notice of eviction (the "72-hr notice) must be served by the Marshal before he can actually evict. Then the Marshal will schedule a date to evict the tenant. You must meet the Marshal and have a locksmith with you to change the locks. You can expect the eviction to take place 6-9 days after the warrant is issued.

Please remember that your case may not go through all of the above stages. The tenant may settle early or just move out. There may be, however, additional stages if the tenant gets a lawyer who raises complex defenses. Likewise, the tenant may bring "Order To Show Cause" to delay his or her eviction.


Our fees are $200/hr for Mr. Sherry or $180/hr for Mr. Sanders plus disbursements. Trial rates are $225/hr (Partner) and $200/hr (Associate). We do not charge for the initial consultation with the client. We do take VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DISCOVER.

Once we are retained, the following are the average costs you can expect:

Take information, draft Preliminary Notices .......... $ 75 - 125.00

Draft & file Notice and Petition summoning tenant to court .......................... $180 - 200.00

Index Number (Court Fee)....................................... $ 35.00

Process Server ($30-$35 per adult).......................... $ 65.00 (est)

Preparation of the Warrant Request........................ $ 50.00

Marshal's Warrant Filing Fee .................................. $ 10.00

In addition, we charge $25.00 to obtain a certified document and the fees to the City are $4.00 per page for a certified deed or other document and $8.00 for a certified MDR.

If the tenant doesn't move and the Marshal must actually come to do an eviction, he will charge you these additional fees:

Service of the Notice of Eviction................... $ 50.00 (est)

Marshal's Eviction.......................................... $ 75.00

Finally, if you have to remove the tenant's belongings, there will be moving and storage charges.

For an average nonpayment case, litigated through trial and the order of a warrant, we estimate that the cost will be about $750 - $1000. Holdovers (because of the preliminary notices) will cost $1000 - $1500.

Please realize that the above figures are estimates for an average case. They could be much less if the tenant settles early or moves out. They could also be more if the tenants put up a real fight or if the case is complicated (hard cases are our specialty). We cannot control the judges or the court procedures, all we can do is fight as hard as we can for you. You will receive regular billings showing the work we do, the hours we spent at it, your fee for that work and the disbursements we incurred. You should review these carefully and call us if you have a question. Because this work moves so quickly, we request "retainers" for us to bill against. Once the retainer is exhausted, we will request a further retainer.

We will regularly send you letters letting you know what is happening with your case and feel free to call us if you need to discuss anything. Attached hereto is a copy of the new Clients' Bill of Rights which we are asked to give to each new client.

We look forward to working with you and a successful conclusion to your case.

Very truly yours,

153 Remsen Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Tel: (718) 522-3600

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