Friday, October 14, 2016

Nuisance Abatement in NYC

In February I wrote about the city's use of temporary orders to force people out of their homes and businesses before the people had a chance to be heard in court. Mayor DeBlasio said the city was committed to granting fair hearings to any tenants or businesses targeted for enforcement. And, the NYPD promised a complete review of the program so that innocent people would not suffer consequences before seeing a judge.

Well, the words of the mayor and the police are not supported by deeds. The Daily News and ProPublica looked at 150 nuisance abatement cases filed over the past six months and found that police have sought scores of temporary closing orders as the first step in its actions — civil legal proceedings that target places police say are scenes of illegal activity. The orders can often render entire families homeless, and cause businesses to lose significant revenue, all before they’ve been able to appear before a judge. They also found that fewer than half of the people who were banned from homes or who gave up their leases in settlement for nuisance cases were convicted in the underlying criminal investigation.

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