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Court Discusses New Program That Evicts Drug Dealers from Real Property

This summary holdover proceeding is brought by the New York County District Attorney’s office under a new program created by the Prosecutor’s office and other governmental agencies designed to evict drug dealers from residential and other real property used for illegal drug trade, business or manufacture pursuant to RPAPL Section 715.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said this eviction program is the progeny of the explosion of drug related crimes which have overwhelmed the City of New York and have sent a wave of fear throughout the communities of the city. The District Attorney’s office has realized that many of the drug dealers are conducting their insidious trade directly from residential premises, with impunity, since many local residents and neighbors are in fear for their safety and lives to report such illegal activities to the authorities. The Prosecutor’s office and other City agencies realized the need for intervention.

Police officers found heroin and the total amount of $22,983.00 in the apartment of the respondents. Respondent-tenants contend that Petitioner has failed to present any evidence of illegal drug crime conducted in the premises since there was no evidence offered by Petitioner to show that any of the Respondent-tenants engaged in a sales transaction of a controlled substance nor did the police find any controlled substance in the premises.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the court stated that the burden of proof under RPAPL Section 715 does not require proof of the commission of the specific illegal acts but it is sufficient that the acts and conduct complained of warrant an inference of the illegal purposes for which the premises are being used. (City of New York by Redlich v. Goldman, 78 Misc.2d 693, 356 N.Y.S.2d 754; Kellner v. Cappellini, 135 Misc.2d 759, 516 N.Y.S.2d 827; also see RPAPL Section 715(1)).

The different accoutrements and items found in this apartment would lead the Court to infer that the apartment in issue was being used by Respondent-tenants for an illegal activity which appears to be lucrative and dangerous. This inference can be drawn from the large volume of cash, an electronic dollar bill counting machine, guns and ammunition, and a bullet proof vest found in the premises.

The evidence in this case showed that Respondent-tenants had much more income than what was disclosed in the income affidavit of Respondent. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the respondent-tenants failed to offer any credible evidence to show how a family of 6 with no apparent means of support other than the limited benefits from welfare and social security can legally accumulate such a large sum of cash and assets.

Based on the inordinate amount of evidence presented in this case against Respondent-tenants, the Court finds that the apartment in issue was the nerve center and headquarters of a large narcotics operation, where narcotics were stored and sold. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said all of the Respondent-tenants were involved in this illegal operation and enjoyed the fruits of their illegal trade.

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