Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New York

On May 24, 2010, notes were posted on the door of my store from companies

that I did not know notifying me that they will come to change the lock on the

front door of my store and collect rent. This is despite the fact that I had already

posted a sign on the store stating that we will be re-opened on June 12, 2010.

On May 25, I called The Bank, who just took over the building after a

foreclosure sale, and let them know that I was going to be admitted into

the hospital for surgery.

Later that afternoon on May 25, my helper found out that the store's front door

lock had been changed. There was a note from the above company (I do not

know them) posted on the door with a strange name and phone number.

There was a woman, who did not identify herself, who asked my helper for

a store lease. My helper didn't have a lease for this woman.

On May 26 the bank called me, when I was still under my recovery from my

surgery, to harass me and demanded a lease for a key. I told the bank that

I had been under recovery for my surgery and I could not even leave my house

due to my recovery and condition.

On June 11, I called the bank for a key to re-open my store for business since

on May 24 we had posted a sign stating that we will re-open on June 12.

The bank ignored my request by delaying its answers. Then I called the company

who changed the lock on my store's front door. The receptionist of this company

told me that the person who held the key was on his vacation until Monday,

June 14.

So far, no one has called me back in regards to me getting a key to open the door.

This bank illegally locked out my store when I was in the hospital for surgery.

There is potential loss of merchandise, personal items (stolen by people who

conducted the lockout), and furthermore my beauty supplies may have been

damaged by heat since my helper couldn't get in to check up on those

merchandises that needed to be checked up and managed. This has also been

extremely stressful and has been quite damaging to my health, particularly as

I am trying to recover from surgery.

On June 16, at 11:15 am, I call 911 and the 911 police officer, XXX # XXX

arrived at 12:15pm, he instructed me that he was unable to help me except

providing his name and his badge # XXXX for proof of his appearance.

I am still locked out. I have lost a lot of business since June 12. There may

have been a lot of new customers that avoided our store since our store never

re-opened on June 12.

Thus, I am intending not to pay rent for this bank and will sue them for

punitive damages. My health, my business, and personal well being has been

seriously damaged from this illegal lockout that has occurred.

My email: [email protected]

Thank you!

Asked on 6/16/10, 9:58 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Randall Brett Law Office of Randall P. Brett

You were locked out, which may or may not be a violation of your lease and New York laws. Without more information, it is difficult to advise you. I suggest that you retain an attorney who will review your lease and the facts and advise you accordingly.

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Answered on 6/17/10, 4:20 am
Michael Markowitz Michael A. Markowitz, PC

What happened to you is illegal. If the bank was to evict, it simply would have to serve notice and a certified copy of the Judgment of Foreclosure. It did not.

Under NY RPAPL 853, "If a person is disseized, ejected, or put out of real property in a forcible or unlawful manner, or, after he has been put out, is held and kept out by force or by putting him in fear of personal violence or by unlawful means, he is entitled to recover treble damages in an action therefor against the wrong-doer."

Collect your evidence. This includes receipts for your lost merchandise and calculation of lost income. You should also collect all notices, communications and photographs.

Finally, you should send an overnight letter stating that you have been illegally evicted and demanding immediate possession of the store.

Good luck.


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Answered on 6/17/10, 5:28 am

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