Disorderly Conduct – New York Penal Law Section 240.20
In New York, Disorderly Conduct occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly creates a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. Disorderly Conduct can be committed several different ways (see statute below). Disorderly conduct is a violation (not a misdemeanor or felony). Disorderly conduct is a common charge in New York. However, it is not always properly charged.
The Disorderly Conduct statute reads as follows:
A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof:
1. He engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or
2. He makes unreasonable noise; or
3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or
4. Without lawful authority, he disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or
5. He obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or
6. He congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or
7. He creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.
The NY Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, has made it clear that evidence of actual or threatened public harm (inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm) is a necessary element of a valid disorderly conduct charge (People v. Baker, 20 N.Y.3d 354, 960 N.Y.S.2d 704, 984 N.E.2d 902 ; People v. Weaver, 16 N.Y.3d 123, 919 N.Y.S.2d 99, 944 N.E.2d 634  ).
Thus, the state must be able to prove that the defendant either intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or was reckless in creating a risk thereof.
Aggressive Debt Collectors
This article seems to suggest that they are. Although this is bad news for borrowers, the law, fortunately, protects borrowers from overly aggressive debt collectors. Debt collectors that harass borrowers, contact borrowers at odd hours, or contact borrowers’ employers may be violating the Fair Debt Collection Act. If so, those debt collectors may be forced to pay borrowers $1,000 in damages. Additionally, without proper documentation, the debt may be discharged.
If you believe that you have been harassed by aggressive debt collectors, the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to help! Call (516) 858-2620 for a free consultation.
We have been successful in getting debt collectors to drop their lawsuits against our clients.
In a recent case of ours, the debt collector filed a 1 page complaint seeking thousands of dollars in alleged unpaid charges. We defended the debt collection lawsuit by filing a 21 page response. A few weeks later the debt collector voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit with prejudice.
Most of us have heard that banks are having trouble foreclosing on home loans because they can’t “produce the note.” Well, debt collectors are having similar issues. Basically, debt collectors can’t prove that they are the proper party entitled to enforce the alleged credit agreement.
We proudly assist residents of Nassau county, Suffolk county, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan with debt settlement and debt collection defense. Call (516) 858-2620 to arrange a FREE consultation with an attorney!
Squatter or Holdover
Figuring out if the occupant is a squatter or holdover tenant is easier than you would think. Recently we have received a lot of phone calls regarding situations where landlords are having difficulty with people in their rental properties that they have never signed a lease with. In this situation, the first thing that seems to come to the minds of most people is that they are dealing with a squatter. A quick reference is to look to the amount of time that the intruder is on the property for. If they are on the property for more than 30 days, then the easiest way to remove them from the premises is via a holdover proceeding. If the intruder is there for less time, then they may be ejected as a squatter. Often times, a holdover proceeding seems to give the landlord a more guaranteed approach to recovering their property. The tradeoff is that with a holdover proceeding, the time to evict is often a little longer.
If you have questions regarding your landlord or tenant and whether or not the situation in which you are involved should be dealt with as a holdover or ejectment, then feel free to call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620!