New York State requires all eviction cases to be held in housing court. It is illegal for a landlord to remove a tenant from the residence himself. A landlord that attempts to evict a tenant himself should be reported to the police. Acts a landlord may do to force a tenant to leave include turning off utilities, harassment, threatening or changing the locks on the dwelling. These acts can end up in fines for the landlord and dismissal of the eviction case.
An eviction starts with a written notice in New York State. The type of written notice used depends on the kind of eviction. New York categorizes evictions into two areas: non-payment and hold over. A non-payment case gives a tenant a three-day notice. The notice demands rent payment in full. Hold over written notices are used for all other eviction reasons, such as the end of a lease or lease violations. Ending a lease takes a 30-day notice period, and a 10-day notice is used for lease violations.
The landlord files a dispossess case in Housing Court. This case may also be called a Summary Proceeding. The landlord needs forms T206D, T207D, T206DC and T216 to file the non-payment eviction case, or forms X210, X210C, X211 and T216 for hold over cases. The forms are for the eviction complaint, a copy of the complaint and copies for service. The landlord files the forms at the Landlord Tenant Clerk's office and chooses the court date. The landlord must serve the complaint on the tenant using a process server or an associate over the age of 18.
A tenant answers the summons or appears at the eviction hearing to contest the eviction or amount of back rent owed. If a tenant does not show up on the court date, a landlord is awarded a default judgment. The hearing determines whether the eviction reason is valid and legal and the amount of back rent owed. Both parties present evidence to argue their side, and the judge rules on the eviction. The landlord is granted a Warrant of Eviction if the case is ruled in his favor. The tenant has a three-day notice to move at this point.
A city marshal is the only person allowed to enforce an eviction in New York State. The landlord is not allowed to remove the tenant from the premises at any time. The marshal removes the tenant and arranges for storage of any personal property. He will also observe as the landlord switches out the locks.
A tenant can file an Order to Show Cause to get another court date after the eviction. A tenant may file this order if the landlord breaches any agreement made in court, if he does not make ordered repairs or if the tenant did not know about the eviction proceedings.