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Copyright (c) 1994 St. John's Law Review Association
St. John's Law Review


Summer, 1994

68 St. John's L. Rev. 799


Scott R. Saks


RPAPL section 732 contains special provisions governing summary proceedings for the nonpayment of rent whereby judges must render judgment for a landlord when a tenant fails to respond within five days from the date of service. 1 Judges may stay the issuance of a warrant for no longer than ten days from the date of service. 2 During the past ten years, however, Manhattan and Brooklyn judges have routinely ordered an inquest before signing a default judgment in order to ensure that the statutory requirements applicable to summary nonpayment proceedings have been satisfied. 3 Recently, in Brusco v. Braun, 4 the Appellate Division, First Department, held that the practice of routinely scheduling a special inquest prior to rendering a default judgment violates section 732(3) of the RPAPL. 5

In Brusco, the landlord-petitioner initiated a summary proceeding for the nonpayment of rent pursuant to section 711(2) of the RPAPL in order to recover possession of real property plus legal fees. 6 On March 27, after the tenant failed to answer the petition within the five days 7 required by RPAPL section 732(1), the petitioner requested an entry of judgment pursuant to sections 732(3) and 747(1) of the RPAPL. 8 Civil Court Judge Richard F. Braun scheduled an inquest for May 1. 9 Judge Braun's practice was to hold a special inquest in every application for default judgment in a residential nonpayment proceeding. 10 The landlord-petitioner applied to the Supreme Court of New York County for judgment without an ...
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