Wrongful Eviction Action

On March 12, 2016, in Landlord-Tenant, Litigation, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

wrongful eviction

Wrongful Evictions in New York

A wrongful eviction action is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “a lawsuit brought by a former tenant or possessor of real property against one who has put the plaintiff out of possession, alleging that the eviction was illegal.”

A wrongful eviction action can result in the plaintiff/former occupant being restored into possession of the subject premises.  It is worth noting that when the subject premises has been re-let, the court will balance the equities between the plaintiff/former occupant vs. the rights of the new resident of the subject premises.  Wrongful evictions can be litigated in every county in New York State.

Another possible outcome of a wrongful eviction action is that the plaintiff/former occupant can be awarded punitive damages.  Often times, wrongful evictions result in economic loss such as hotel costs for the former occupant, or the loss of personal belongings that were discarded by the defendant.  In New York, treble damages may be awarded in wrongful eviction actions.

For the eviction to have been a wrongful eviction or illegal, the underlying basis or the case procedure must have an identifiable defect.  Often times, Rent Stabilization Procedures are not properly followed or tenant payments are not properly credited to the tenants account.  Self-Help adds a layer of complication but almost always fits into the category of wrongful eviction, especially in residential units.  Self-Help language in leases will be reviewed by courts when a self-help eviction issue is raised in the court.

Understanding the landlord tenant dynamic and how wrongful evictions play a roll in that dynamic can present a dilemma if you do not seek the advice of an attorney.  These complex issues are often not presented properly and the cases are often dismissed.

Eviction Attorney in New York

If you have been wrongfully evicted, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an attorney today!

See Also:

Can you handle your own bankruptcy, divorce, eviction and/or foreclosure defense?


Should you?


We have been receiving more and more calls and visits from individuals whose do-it-yourself legal representation went awry.  These individuals have filed their own bankruptcy petition, started to defend their own foreclosure action, filed their own divorce petition or have tried to evict a tenant. We are usually asked if we can salvage their case by fixing the mistakes that were made. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t.

We are certainly not against people handling their own legal matters. We are all for people saving a buck in this economy. There are certainly situations where you can handle your own legal matter without any problems at all. However, you should be fully aware of the potential consequences you face should things not go so well.

Here are some of the potential consequences you face if you fail to properly follow procedure and/or the law when handling your own divorce, tenant eviction, bankruptcy filing, or foreclosure defense:


  • Your case is dismissed (you have to start all over. You likely lose time and money)
  • Treble damages for an illegal eviction
  • Jail for an illegal eviction


  • Case dismissed for failing to follow law or procedure
  • Loss of non-exempt property
  • Denial of discharge
  • Adversary proceeding brought against (usually alleging  non-dischargeability of debt)
  • Jail for fraud

Foreclosure Defense

  • Your answer is treated as a notice of appearance
  • Loss of meritorious defenses
  • Loss of your home


  • Dismissal of petition
  • Unnecessary delay
  • Loss of marital assets and spousal support

The above is not meant to dissuade you from doing any of the above on your own. It is simply meant to give you an idea of some potential consequences you might face. It might be a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable attorney before making a final decision on self-representation. You may find that the potential savings are not that great and that you could actually end up losing lots of money and time if things go wrong.

No matter what you decide to do, we wish you well.  All the best!

As always, The Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you.  We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY.  Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to speak with an attorney.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. This website is Attorney Advertising. It does not form an attorney-client relationship. We are a debt relief agency and a law firm that helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code – Title 11. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Proudly assisting residents of Long Island, Nassau county, Suffolk county, New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan
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